Today, February 23
Feast of the Day
No feast of the day
Saint of the Day
Readings of the Day
Letter to the Hebrews 11:1-7.
Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith we understand that the universe was ordered by the word of God, so that what is visible came into being through the invisible. By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain's. Through this he was attested to be righteous, God bearing witness to his gifts, and through this, though dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and "he was found no more because God had taken him." Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned about what was not yet seen, with reverence built an ark for the salvation of his household. Through this he condemned the world and inherited the righteousness that comes through faith.
Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. And I will praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; His greatness is unsearchable. Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might. Generation after generation praises your works And proclaims your might. They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works. Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you. And let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 9:2-13.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him." Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant. Then they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He told them, "Elijah will indeed come first and restore all things, yet how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him."
It was the will of the Lord Jesus that Moses alone (though he was accompanied, it is true, by Joshua (Ex 24:13)) should climb the mountain to receive the law. In the gospel too, out of his many disciples he limited the revelation of his his risen glory to three: Peter, James, and John. Wishing to put no stumbling block in the way of his weaker followers, whose vacillating minds might prevent them from taking in the full meaning of the paschal mystery, he chose to keep his redemptive plan a secret, and repeatedly warned Peter, James, and John not to talk freely about what they had seen. Peter, in fact, did not know what to say. He thought of setting up three shelters for the Lord and his attendants. Then he found himself unable to bear the brilliance of the glory radiating from his transfigured Lord. Together with those "sons of thunder" (Mk 3:17), James and John, he fell to the ground (Mt 17:6)… They entered the cloud in order to receive knowledge of hidden, secret matters, and there they heard the voice of God saying: "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him." What does "This is my beloved Son" mean? The implication is as follows: Make no mistake, Simon. Do not imagine God's Son can be put into the same category as the servants who attend him. This man is my Son; neither Moses nor Elijah can be given that title, even though the one opened the sea and the other closed the heavens. Both of them exercised dominion over the elements, but it was by the power of the Lord's word that they did so (Ex 14; 1 Kgs 17:1). They were only servants; it was the Lord who made the waters into a solid wall, the Lord who caused the drought that closed the heavens, and the Lord who, in his own time, opened them to release the rain. For evidence of the resurrection to be accepted, the combined witness of those servants is required. But when the glory of their risen Lord is revealed, the servant' aureole is lost in shadow. Sunrise obscures the stars; the light of the heavenly bodies grows pale before the brilliance of the sun shining on this material world. How then could human stars attract notice in the presence of the eternal Sun of Justice (Mal 3:20)?