Second Sunday of Lent, March 8
With Unquestioning Trust and Uncompromising Love, God Invites Each of Us into a Righteous Relationship with Himself, a Relationship in Which We Shall Find Our True Joy and Everlasting Peace.
In our Gospel Reading today, we hear our Eternal Father saying to Peter, James and his brother John, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Today, on this Second Sunday of Lent, we find ourselves standing on Mount Tabor, witnessing the Transfiguration of Jesus. We look upon it with eyes of faith, for we already know the whole story. But for Peter, James and John, they were still struggling with coming to know who this Jesus truly is, the Jesus whom they had been following now for almost three years.
In their human frailties, not unlike our own weaknesses, not unlike our own fears and anxieties which each of us feels at one time or another, they were not able to fully comprehend the meaning behind all that was truly happening in front of their very eyes.
You and I have the benefit today of the Gospels. We have the benefit of the Letters of the New Testament and the Book of Revelation. We have the benefit of almost two thousand years of Church teaching. You and I know how this story, which is still unfolding even today, will one day end.
But for Jesus’ disciples, they were soon to undergo a test of their faith which they could not even imagine – no matter how many times our Lord would speak about the Passion which He was to endure. His disciples were very much like each of us today – a people who longed for the eternal, men and women whose hearts were filled with hope, men and women who saw Jesus as the answer to all their longings and desires.
But when it came to truly living their faith in the midst of the fear which overwhelmed them when our Lord was arrested, they could not see the “light at the end of the tunnel”; they were not able to put all that our Lord had said into perspective. It was not until the Resurrection that the pieces of the puzzle slowly began to fit together, and they could begin to see what you and I already know today.
The Transfiguration, for each of us, can be seen as a foreshadowing of our own glorification, our own transfiguration on that final day when the Son of Man will come upon the clouds of Heaven in all His glory! But until that final day approaches, we are each called to remain faithful to our baptismal promises in our daily lives.
We are each called to live out our covenant with God, being His adopted sons and daughters, embracing all that He calls each of us to be in our life here on this side of Heaven.
Whether we be single or married, man or woman, professional or blue collar, lay person or cleric, no matter what our age, no matter what our calling in life may be – each and every one of us, young and old, is called to embrace a life of sanctity, a life of holiness and virtue. And we accomplish this by embracing all that God has taught us, and we do so by always asking for His help, so that His grace may sustain us in our walk of faith.
In the Scriptures, Jesus called His disciples and each of us today to “…be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We all want to observe God’s decrees, but we also know, only too well, that it is not always easy. Being “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” requires effort on our part. It requires that we truly acknowledge that we cannot hope to make it through life pleasing God without His help.
And God knows our frail human nature better than we do. He knows that, even with the best of intentions, we will fall at times. But we also know that we have a God whose Love is boundless and whose Mercy is limitless.
And we are reminded in our Second Reading today that, through the providential Love which God has for each of us, we are saved and called to embrace a life of holiness, “through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Even our psalmist speaks to us today with words of confidence, words of trust in a God who truly understands the human condition. “See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield.”
For it is the face of God upon which you and I yearn to gaze. It is His loving embrace for which we long to feel. It is His unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy for which our hearts and souls deeply hunger.
Heaven is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises, begun so long ago with the covenant He established with Abram, a covenant which we hear expressed in our First Reading from the Book of Genesis. And Abram responded with an unquestioning trust, believing that the God who created all things could also fulfill His promise, in spite of Abram’s age.
That is why Abraham, as God will rename him later, is considered the Father in faith of not only Christians, but also Jews and Muslims. And, with the promises we read today, the great story of God’s covenantal relationship with His people begins to unfold – a relationship of Divine Fatherhood, a relationship of Love such as a loving and selfless parent is called to have for his or her children.
During this Lenten season, as you and I spiritually foster and cultivate this relationship of love for God within ourselves, we also know how easy it is to become sidetracked by a culture which seems to constantly belittle and demean any sense of the spiritual within ourselves.
Whether it be a hostile workplace environment, our children being seduced by relativism within their own school surroundings and also through peer pressure, or our lives being directly affected by a general lessening of the social mores – in other words, a general lessening of the moral conduct within our own society – our life of faith can sometimes be attacked from many different fronts and on many different levels!
No matter how difficult our trials may become, no matter how heavy the cross may seem at times in our journey through this valley of tears, our faith teaches us that God is within each one of us. His Spirit dwells within the very depths of our heart and our soul, and He is there to guide us; He is there to strengthen us with His Love, if we would only take the time to open our hearts to Him.
God invites each of us into a righteous, a holy and loving relationship with Himself – the same relationship which Abram had with his God, the same relationship which Jesus taught us to have with His Father and ours.
It is a relationship which speaks of a complete and unquestioning trust, a relationship which speaks of an uncompromising love, a relationship which calls us to surrender ourselves completely to God’s will. In such a relationship, our final reward is guaranteed – the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom where we become co-heirs with Christ.
The choice is ultimately ours. Our Most Loving Father calls us today to listen to His Son. If we say “yes”, we share in His Eternal Light and the citizenship of Heaven; if we say “no”, the consequences are dire indeed!
May this season of Lent call each of us into the relationship to which God is inviting both you and me, for it is this relationship in which we shall find our true joy and lasting peace, our True and Everlasting Love – a oneness with God for all eternity.
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’” (Matthew 17:5)
- “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
- “He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design…through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:9ab, 10)
- “Behold, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield.” (Psalm 33:18-20)
- “Abram went as the LORD directed him…Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.” (Genesis 12:4a; 15:6)
- “[The LORD] will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8b)
- “Know that he, the LORD, is God. He made us, we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep of his flock.” (Psalm 100:3)
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not.” (Proverbs 3:5)
- “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28-29)
- “My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation…My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope…Trust God at all times, O my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!” (Psalm 62:2, 6, 9)
Prayer for the Day
“Ah, Lord God, my Holy Lover,
when You come into my heart,
all that is within me will rejoice.
“You are my Glory and the Exultation of my heart.
You are my Hope and Refuge in the day of my tribulation.
But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect,
I must be strengthened and comforted by You.
“Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline.
Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart
of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within,
I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.”Thomas A’ Kempis (“The Imitation of Christ”)