Vol: 43, No.17 2ND SUNDAY OF LENT ( C) February 21 2016  
Of you my heart has spoken: Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me. (Ps  26:8-9)

A covenant is a contract between two parties that has terms and conditions for its validity. The relationship between God and the people of Israel is essentially covenantal. The covenant that God makes with Abraham is one of the primitive covenants, but a more sophisticated covenant will follow after the Israelites are delivered from Egypt. The Sinaitic covenant wherein the people agree to observe the Ten Commandments as conditions to enjoy God’s favour is the most famous of all covenants made between God and His People. We do not have Jesus making covenants with his disciples. On the Mount of the Transfiguration Jesus appeared to his chosen disciples in all his glory. Where the covenants failed, Jesus succeeded because Jesus is the human face of God. What is my relationship with God? Am I able to keep the promises that I make to God? (Pause)

I confess to almighty God/and to you,/my brothers and sisters,/that I have greatly sinned,/in my thoughts and in my words,/in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,/through my fault,/ through my fault,/through my most grievous fault;/therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,/all the Angels and Saints,/and you,/my brothers and sisters,/to pray for me to the Lord our God.
O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Abraham is a person of faith and so God makes a covenant with him. The rewards in this covenant are the possession of land and the certainty of offspring).
A reading from the Book of Genesis (15:5-12, 17-18)
The Lord brought Abram outside and said, “Look towards heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.
And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him.
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