March 8: Second Sunday of Lent. Readings: 1. Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm: 33; 2. 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9.
These readings give insight into the divine plan that has been working itself out in human history. But it is particularly God’s intervention in that history that is to the fore today.
When, in Genesis, the Lord speaks to Abraham for the first time, his words are profoundly challenging. Having to uproot himself from a settled life in Haran and head off to an unknown land surely strikes us as daring and perhaps even foolhardy. However, in light of what God promises him, the foretold blessings are an enormous influence. And so, Abraham responds unhesitatingly, trusting valiantly in the future good to come.
That faith that Abraham exemplifies is also evident in the few words from 2 Timothy. At the heart of these verses is everyone’s call to live out the message of the Gospel. And that is a task only possible because of three things. They are God’s power given to us, the grace made ours because of Jesus Christ, and the light of the Gospel that envelops all our thinking and acting. This Pauline perspective is fit encouragement to become what God has called us to be.
What is revealed through Matthew’s transfiguration scene is yet another means of calling us to deeper faith in the mystery of Christ. For when we eavesdrop on God’s words here, we are being invited to profess our faith in Jesus, the Beloved of God, whose life, death and Resurrection hold the key to all future life. It is up to us to open our ears and respond to the call that is made anew this Lent.
Our hearing of all three readings this Sunday reminds us that the faith we share is precious. It is a faith that we pray will grow stronger, so as to be graced with blessings in abundance.