Preacher’s Sketchbook: Second Sunday of Lent

February 19, 2013

Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s Preaching Advisory Board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.


St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, q. 45, a. 1

Our Lord, after foretelling His Passion to His disciples, had exhorted them to follow the path of His sufferings (Mt 16,21 Mt 16,24). Now in order that anyone go straight along a road, he must have some knowledge of the end: thus an archer will not shoot the arrow straight unless he first see the target. Hence Thomas said (Jn 14,5): “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” Above all is this necessary when hard and rough is the road, heavy the going, but delightful the end. Now by His Passion Christ achieved glory, not only of His soul, not only of His soul, which He had from the first moment of His conception, but also of His body; according to Luke (Lc 24,26): “Christ ought [Vulg.: ‘ought not Christ’] to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory

St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, q. 45, a. 2

Jerome says on the words “He was transfigured before them” (Mt 17,2): “He appeared to the Apostles such as He will appear on the day of judgment.” And on Mt 16,28, “Till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom,” Chrysostom says: “Wishing to show with what kind of glory He is afterwards to come, so far as it was possible for them to learn it, He showed it to them in their present life, that they might not grieve even over the death of their Lord.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, q. 45, a. 3

Now men are brought to the glory of eternal beatitude by Christ – not only those who lived after Him, but also those who preceded Him; therefore, when He was approaching His Passion, both “the multitude that followed” and that “which went before, cried saying: ‘Hosanna,'” as related Mt 21,9, beseeching Him, as it were, to save them. Consequently it was fitting that witnesses should be present from among those who preceded Him – namely, Moses and Elias – and from those who followed after Him – namely, Peter, James, and John – that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses” this word might stand.

St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, q. 45, a. 4

It was fitting that the disciples should be afraid and fall down on hearing the voice of the Father, to show that the glory which was then being revealed surpasses in excellence the sense and faculty of all mortal beings; according to Ex 33,20: “Man shall not see Me and live.” This is what Jerome says on Mt 17,6: “Such is human frailty that it cannot bear to gaze on such great glory.” But men are healed of this frailty by Christ when He brings them into glory. And this is signified by what He says to them: “Arise, and fear not.”



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