Second Sunday of Lent, February 28
May This Pilgrimage, Upon Which You and I Are Now Traveling, Become for Us an Opportunity to Cultivate a Deeper and More Meaningful Relationship with the God Who Has Created Us Out of Divine Love and Saved Us Through His Divine Mercy.
“I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” – words given to Abraham by an angel after proving his obedience and faith in his God.
When we reflect upon our First Reading today, it is only normal for us to ask ourselves – “Do we have the kind of faith and trust in God that Abraham did?” “Can we surrender ourselves, to the point of giving up our own ego, our own pride, our very sense of self – so that God may work His Divine will through us?”
Living our faith from childhood to old age is a journey – a journey which oftentimes tests us as we travel through the various peaks and valleys of life. It is a journey which may even stretch our faith to its very limits, especially during those times in our lives when we experience the despair of a failed relationship, the loss of financial security, or when we experience the depths of grief over the loss of a loved one.
Even in the midst of Abraham’s faith and trust in God, I am sure he must have suffered interiorly believing that God was calling Him to offer-up his only son. Yet, in Abraham’s obedience, his willingness to say “yes” to all that God was asking of him, we see in that single act of obedience a prefigurement, a foreshadowing if you will, of the sacrifice which Jesus was to make for each of us.
It was the Transfiguration, about which we read in today’s Gospel, which laid the foundation for the remainder of our Lord’s explanations of what He would be enduring after His return to Jerusalem. We read today, “…he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”
And two verses later in Mark’s Gospel, not included in today’s Reading, we find Him posing a question to His disciples, “…how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt?”
On our journey through Lent, as we travel with our Lord in His ascent towards Calvary, we are now in our second week, and Saint Paul poses a question in his Letter to the Romans which brings us to focus on that singular event which has brought each of us closer to God, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”
This ultimate sacrifice which our Lord freely accepted was in obedience to His Father, an obedience which exemplifies God’s boundless Love for His creation – for each and every one of us – a Love which embodies the unfathomable and indescribable concern and faithfulness which He holds for all His children!
And in this relationship which God has for you and me, there is nothing that will separate us from our love for Christ, except our willful choices to commit grievous acts of betrayal against His Love!
But even in the frailty of our human nature and the many times we may fall due to sinful thoughts, words or deeds, God’s Mercy is always available to us, for the outpouring of His Blood and Water from the Cross is meant to wash us from our sins, if only we would turn and seek His spiritual cleansing, His Mercy in our lives.
On our pilgrimage towards Calvary, and the Divine Mercy which shall be poured out upon the whole world through a soldier’s lance which will pierce the agonized Heart of our Savior, we stand with our Lord today on Mount Tabor, and we hear and witness the Eternal Love which our Heavenly Father has for His Only-Begotten, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Today, and each and every day of our lives, we are called to listen to Christ Jesus, for it is only through Him that Heaven becomes the fulfillment of all of God’s promises for each one of us, promises begun so long ago when Abraham proved his love for God by not withholding his only son, Isaac, as a sacrificial offering.
It is Jesus, Himself, who has become the ultimate Perfection of all sacrificial offerings ever made for our salvation. It is His Passion and agonizing Death upon His Cross which has earned for each of us, as His faithful children and with the help of His grace, our position as co-heirs with Christ for all eternity.
May this pilgrimage, upon which you and I are now traveling, become for us an opportunity to cultivate a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the God who has created us out of Divine Love and saved us through His Divine Mercy.
It is a relationship which speaks of a complete and unquestioning trust in Divine Providence, a relationship which speaks of an uncompromising love for our God, a relationship which calls us to surrender ourselves to the will of God in our lives!
In such a relationship, our final reward is guaranteed – the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom where we shall stand with God, Himself, and all the angelic hosts and saints for all eternity – filled with an eternal peace and joy, filled with Eternal Love Himself!
The choice of making this pilgrimage is ultimately ours. It always has been!
May the words of today’s psalmist become our own, “I shall walk before the LORD in the land of the living…My vows to the LORD I will pay in the presence of all his people…In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem.”
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you in our continuing pilgrimage through life. †
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
- “‘Do not lay your hand on the boy,’ said the angel. ‘Do not do the least thing to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you did not withhold from me your son, your only one.’” (Genesis 22:12)
- “A second time the angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven and said: ‘I swear by my very self, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your son, your only one, I will bless you…” (Genesis 22:15-17a)
- “They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
- “Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.’” (Mark 9:7)
- “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.” (Mark 9:9)
- “…how is it written regarding the Son of Man that he must suffer greatly and be treated with contempt?” (Mark 9:12b)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.” (1 John 4:9)
- “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” (Romans 8:31b-32)
- “I will always hope in you and add to all your praise. My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.” (Psalm 71:14-15)
- “I shall walk before the LORD in the land of the living…I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people…In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!” (Psalm 116:9, 14, 19)
Prayer for the Day
“Most Holy and Eternal Spirit,
as we travel through life and experience Your gift of faith,
teach us to recognize the different ways
by which You speak to us in our daily lives.
“Amidst the many distractions of the world,
amidst all the distortions and perversions which exist,
may we never ignore Your Voice
in the ordinary events which we experience daily.
“We humbly pray for Your grace,
enabling our hearts to always be opened to Your Holy Presence,
always remaining attuned to Your inspirations
which guide us in a holy and right relationship with You.
“And may our ears always be openedAnonymous
to the path upon which You are directing us –
for the sake of our salvation and, most especially,
for the greater honor and glory of Almighty God. Amen.”