Sunday, February 26, 2017 Transfiguration of Our Lord / Last Sunday after Epiphany Introduction
Today’s festival is a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that comes to a close today and the Lent-Easter cycle that begins in several days. On the mount of transfiguration Jesus is revealed as God’s beloved Son, echoing the words at his baptism. This vision of glory sustains us as Jesus faces his impending death in Jerusalem.
We turn this week to Ash Wednesday and our yearly baptismal journey from Lent to Easter. Some churches put aside the alleluia at the conclusion of today’s liturgy. This word of joy will be omitted during the penitential season of Lent and will be sung again at Easter.
First Reading: Exodus 24:12-18
At Mount Sinai, Moses experienced the presence of God for forty days and forty nights. The “glory of the Lord” settled on the mountain, and on the seventh day God called out to Moses. On the mountain God gave Moses the stone tablets inscribed with the ten commandments.
Psalm: Psalm 2
You are my son; this day have I begotten you. (Ps. 2:7)
Second Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21
At the transfiguration, God’s voice was heard, declaring Jesus to be the beloved Son. By the activity of the Holy Spirit, God’s voice continues to be heard through the word of scripture.
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
Shortly before he enters Jerusalem, where he will be crucified, Jesus is revealed to his disciples in a mountaintop experience of divine glory called the transfiguration.