Dr. Peggy Hartshorn, president of Heartbeat International, tells a dramatic story about a woman who glimpsed the mystery of her unborn child. The young woman was seeking an abortion. She simply could not handle having a baby at this time. But she agreed to an ultrasound. When the baby appeared on the screen, the woman was amazed to see the perfectly formed body, the tiny legs and arms moving inside her womb. But the woman kept saying, "No, no, I have to have an abortion." Dr. Hartshorn felt sad. She knew that seventy-five percent of women who see an ultrasound decide to keep their baby - but that a quarter, nevertheless, still have the abortion. It seemed like this woman would be in that twenty-five percent. All of sudden, Dr. Hartshorn's assistant said, "Reach out and take your baby's hand." Dr. Hartshorn thought, "Oh, gosh, why is she saying that?" But the woman raised her hand and touched the monitor. As if by some divine cue, the baby stretched out his arm to the exact place of his mom's hand. On the screen his tiny fingers met hers. She kept her baby. There is a mystery inside each one of us - the mystery of the image of God. Today’s gospel tells us how three of the apostles saw a glimpse, a tiny glimpse, of who Jesus was. That would transform them and sustain them through some dark moments following Jesus’ arrest.
3. Fr. Jude Botelho: The first reading from Genesis reminds us that Noah alone was spared during the flood. God made a promise, a covenant that man would not be destroyed by the floodwaters and the sign of his covenant was the rainbow. God is faithful to his promise and each time we see a rainbow, it should remind us of a God who is faithful to His promise. All kinds of situations test us and there are times we may falter and fail, we may be unfaithful to God, but God will not destroy us, He is faithful to his promise, He will save us.
1) “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”
Some of the senior citizens here today can remember a song that was popular exactly 41 years ago. In 1971, a group from Canada called the Five Man Electrical Band had a hit called “Signs.” The song is about how signs are always telling us what to do, and the chorus says, “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Four decades later, the question it poses – “Can’t you read the sign?” — is one we might ask ourselves today. We are going to be signed with ash - the sign of our faith, the cross. “Can’t you read the sign?” The cross of ashes means that we are making a commitment – that we are undertaking Lent as a season of prayer and penitence, of dying to ourselves. It also describes our human condition: it says that we are broken, and need repair; that we are sinners and need redemption. Most importantly, it tells us that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to carry our crosses. It also reminds us that we are dust and ashes – mortal human beings carrying an immortal soul. (http://www.patheos
The first reading from Leviticus describes the terrible plight of the lepers in the Old Testament. The leper was considered unclean and had to proclaim that he was unclean, by his dress, appearance and voice. As long as anyone was suffering from this disease he was ostracized and had to live outside human dwellings. More fearful than the disease were the social effects of being an outcast shunned by society. In Israel, leprosy was considered as the ultimate punishment for sin. Though leprosy is curable today, it is still dreaded and we keep away from lepers. We still have lepers close by - people who, for one reason or another, are defined by their condition and not treated as people -the homeless, the unattractive, many diseased, the armless, the twisted body, people with Aids. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves also that we ourselves are often, in one way or another, inwardly leprous.