Second Sunday of Lent

Por: padre José Miguel González Martín

Palabra de Hoy
Palabra de Hoy

February 28, 2021

God said to Abraham:

“All the nations of the earth shall be blessed with thy seed,

because you’ve heard my voice.”

If God is with us, who will be against us?

A cloud formed that covered them and a voice came out of the cloud:
“This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him.”

 

 

Readings

First Reading

Reading the book of Genesis 22, 1-2. 9-13. 15-18

In those days, God tested Abraham.
He said, “Abraham!”
He said, “Here I am.”
God said, “Take your only son, the one you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moria and offer me there in a burnt offering in one of the mountains I will tell you.”
When they arrived at the place God had told him, Abraham raised the altar there and piled up the firewood.
Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slit his son’s throat.
But the angel of the Lord shouted to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He said, “Here I am.”
The angel commanded him, “Don’t reach out against the boy or do anything to him. Now I have verified that you fear God, because you have not reserved your son, your only son.”
Abraham raised his eyes and saw a ram tangled by the horns in the undergrowth. He approached, took the ram and offered it in the Holocaust instead of his son.
The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “I swear for myself, oracle of the Lord: for having done this, for not having reserved your son, your only son, I will fill you with blessings and multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the beach. Your descendants will conquer the doors of their enemies. All the nations of the earth will be blessed with your offspring, for you have heard my voice.”

 

Psalm

Come out 115, 10 and 15. 16-17. 18-19

I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the country of life.

I had faith, even though I said, “How miserable I am!”
It costs the Lord much to kill his faithful. R/.

Lord, I am your servant, your servant, son of your slave: you broke my chains.
I will offer you a sacrifice of praise, invoking your name, Lord. R/.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all the people,
in the atrium of the house of the Lord, in the midst of you, Jerusalem. R/.

 

Second Reading

Reading St Paul’s Letter to the Romans 8, 31b-34

Brothers:
If God is with us, who will be against us? He who did not reserved himself to his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, how can he not give us everything with him? Who will accuse God’s eldes? God is the one who justifies. Who will convict? Is Christ Jesus, who died, even more so, resurrected and is to the right of God and who also intercedes for us?

 

Gospel

Reading the Holy Gospel according to Mark 9, 2-10

At that time, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him, went up with them alone to a high mountain, and transfigured himself before them. Their dresses turned from a dazzled white, as no battalion in the world can leave them.
Elijah and Moses appeared to them, talking to Jesus.
Then Peter took the floor and said to Jesus:
“Master, how good it is that we’re here! We’re going to make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
I didn’t know what to say, because they were scared.
A cloud formed that covered them and a voice came out of the cloud:
“This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him.”
Suddenly, as they looked around, they saw no one but Jesus, alone with them.
When they came down from the mountain, he ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of man rose from the dead.
This stuck with them and discussed what it meant to resurrect the dead.

 

Comment

May we also today, on this second Sunday of Lent, hear the voice of the Lord and not harden our hearts. Just like Abraham did. As the Father asks us in today’s gospel. To listen to His Word is to allow Christ, the beloved Son and Word of the Father, to penetrate our hearts and transform our lives.

The path of Lent continues its course towards Easter; and, if last Sunday the road passed through the desert, today it stops at the mountain, an image that appears in both the first reading and the gospel. Abraham climbs the mountain, Mount Moria, in obedience to God, to offer in sacrifice his only son Isaac; Jesus climbs the mountain, Mount Tabor, to be transfigured before Peter, James, and John. The mountains are steep and elevated geographical places from which the horizon is best seen, where silence is only broken by the whisper of the wind, where the universe feels closer, but only accessed with effort and sacrifice. The mountain is the symbol in Sacred Scripture of the place of encounter with God face to face, of listening to his will, of receiving his commandments. The mountain is the symbol of so many moments of prayer and intimacy with the Lord, in which we have felt his closeness and his love.

Lent is also time to climb the mountain of encounter with the Father, to let us enlighten ourselves by his much-needed truth in the routine of daily life, to devote more time to prayer as he listens rested and silent than God wants from us, because God always has something new to tell us.

The first reading, always taken from the Old Testament, presents us at this time, different characters who prefigure Christ and his saving mission. Last week it was Noah who saved from the universal flood, in his Ark, a remnant of humanity. Today it is Abraham who, in obedient listening to God, seeks to fulfill his will, even if it means an apparent contradiction with God’s original project. Abraham is the first historical character to appear in the Bible, with whom God makes his Covenant and promises to be a blessing to all peoples, a promise he begins to fulfill by giving him a son in old age, Isaac, heir and fulfiller of the promise.

So how is it possible for God to ask Abraham for the sacrifice of his own son? So how will God keep his promise, how can we continue to put faith and trust in a God seemingly so inhuman, so contradictory?

Abraham believes and trusts, and reserves nothing to himself, not even to the son that God Himself had given him. Because only God knows. Abraham’s faith and trust in God is not blind and irrational but filial and loving. He does not set deadlines for God; knows how to expect his prodigious action. He is a man faithful to God and that is why he becomes a fruitful man. The fruitfulness of his loving dedication springs from his fidelity to God. Abraham, our father in faith, thus becomes a paradigm of the believer in our day. How many times do we distrust God! And we ask him, do you really exist, why do you ask us for so many sacrifices, why don’t you fix this or that personal or social problem? However, Abraham’s example impels us to continue to say yes to God, even in the crudeest times, in unexplained, even irrational, situations. Because only God knows.

The second reading, taken from the letter to the Romans, invites us to this same confidence. If God is with us and we are with Him, what does everything else matter! Certainly both the message of the first and the second reading invite us to review our scale of values. Only God is the absolute value, the foundation of our existence; everything else is relative. Faith and trust in the Lord impels us to live without fear of condemnation or rejection, without lastres or remoras of the past, without slavery present. That does not mean living in the clouds or neglecting the sometimes bleeding reality around us. Faith and trust in God consist of giving him everything without resreserved anything to us, as He has done with us, who has not reserved even his own Son. Faith and trust in God leads us to stand before Him with all that we are and have, including all our miseries, to tell Him as Abraham, sometimes with stealth and sometimes with despair: “Here I am, Lord”.

In today’s Gospel we find a new theophany, manifestation of God, on Mount Tabor. If last Sunday we contemplated Jesus, on his most human side, suffering temptations in the wilderness, today St Mark presents him to us transfigured, making his divine condition shine, restrained by the voice of the Father: “This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him.” The conversation with Moses and Elijah helps us understand that in Christ the Law and the Prophets become fully fully, that is, Christ Himself is the incarnation of the Law of God and the expected prophet of time. Yahweh’s entire history of salvation with the people of Israel comes to its culmination in Christ, true man and true God, the beloved Son of the Father. In the context of baptismal catechesis, which is all Lent, this passage presents us to Christ in its entirety.

Finally, it is very interesting what Jesus says to his disciples as they come down from the mountain and the reflection they themselves do. He asks them not to tell anyone what they have seen and heard until the Son of Man rises from the dead. And they wondered what that was meant by the resurrection of the dead. Jesus repeatedly asks silence for those who experience His divine power. This aims that, little by little, each of us personally, we will discover his divinity hidden under the poor appearances. As the disciples are making us partakers of their truth so that, progressively, we assimilate everything he wants to tell us. He speaks to them and tells us of the resurrection so that we do not forget that their way, that our way, will never end in cross and death; that resurrection and life will overcome.

Jesus’ transfiguration had been an early Easter apparition. With it he prepared the disciples, and prepares us, to live the mystery of pain and death, in any of its forms and moments, in the certain hope of resurrection and life.

In our daily Christian life how important it is to know how to “get off the mountain”, not to live in the clouds, to know how to live our faith, our relationship with God, to live. The encounter with God in prayer fills us with light and peace; it does not alienat us, but transforms us and makes our understanding of life and the world around us another, yours, always more authentic and elevated. It does not change that reality; we change are us from God’s grace to live it and assume it in a new and distinct, more authentic way, more like Jesus’s. From the encounter with God on the mountain, both Abraham, Peter, James and John, returned transformed to everyday life. May we in this Lent also live the experience of feeling transformed and transfigured by the grace of the Lord to be more and better Christians in everyday life.

 

Prayer

Transfer me, Lord, transfer me.

I want to be your stained glass window,

your tall blue, purple and yellow stained glass window.

I want to be my figure, yes, my story,

but from you in your pierced glory.

Transfer me, Lord, transfer me.

But not to myself,

purifies also

to all your Father’s children

who pray to you with me or prayed to you,

or that maybe not a mother had

to guide you to babble the Our Father.

Transfer us, Lord, transfigúranos.

If they don’t know you, or they doubt you

or blaspheme you, clean your face

like you the Veronica;

uncor her dense cataracts from her eyes,

to be seen, Lord, as I see you.

Transform them, Lord, transfer them.

That everyone can, in the same cloud

that surrounds you,

stripping away evil and covered up

of his old figure and in you transfigured.

And to me, with all of them, transfer me.

Transfer us, Lord, transfigúranos.

(Hymn of the liturgy of the hours)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*