Sunday readings in brief Lent 2 year A
Genesis 12:1-4; Psalms 32(33); 2 Tim 1:8-10; Mathew 17:1-9
The Glory that awaits us
Dear friends, today is the second Sunday of Lent. We have complete 11 days of Lenten observance. I would like to invite us even before we reflect of today’s readings, to pause for a minute and evaluate how we have observed these days so far. Have we been praying, fasting, giving alms and doing repentance as it is the purpose of the season? If not then the season will end without gaining anything. How can we afterwards complain that God does not help us?
Well, having checked on our Lenten Observance Status, today the readings speak to us about the Glory that awaits all those who keeps the faith until the end. The beginning and the middle of the journey may seem very glare and offering little hope, however, only those who persevere until the end will reap the benefits. Faith helps us to foresee the glory that awaits us at the end.
The first reading presents to us the figure of Abram, who even though he and his wife Sarah had grown elderly without a child, believed in the call of God to vacate his ancestral land and move to a foreign land that God would saw him. The story seems to be very simple in our ears because we already know the end of it. However, for Abram it was not as easy. It is because of his faith in God that he believed in the promise that he would become a father of a great nation even though humanly speaking that was no longer possible. To make this possible, Abram had to break with his people and the place where he called home. He had to break with everything that surrounded him to get to be a father of a great nation. May be you and I are stuck in our problems because we are not ready to break with our comfortable zones, break with our “groups” even though they have nothing serious about life.
Faith makes the impossible possible. This is what we interpret as miracles. Miracles minus faith is magic that lasts only during the performance. Have you been in a situation that Abram was? Did your faith in God help you forge ahead even when all hope seemed very dim?
St. Paul attributes every good thing in his life as the consequence of God’s grace and not human power. This grace had been there even before the beginning of time, however, it is Christ made it available to us through his death and resurrection.
The Gospel today narrates the episode of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. After announcing to his disciples the sufferings that he had to undergo for him to accomplish his mission of redeeming the world, his disciples became gloomy and hope of continuity of the movement they had began seemed very dim. Jesus knew that this was breaking their hearts and could even scatter them after he had gone. To strengthen their hope, Jesus took a three of them to the mountain and there he was transfigured. He showed them the marvelous glory that awaited him after all the suffering and death – the resurrection. Though he prohibited them to tell no one about the vision, Jesus knew that with this assurance, these three would encourage the others during the dark moments until he appeared to them resurrected.
In our world today, there are many hopeless and gloomy situations. Many are going through unprecedented sufferings caused by the effects of climate change such us draught and flooding. Others are suffering because of so much evil in the world. Innocent people are suffering because of uncontrolled egos of leaders who have refused around the table solutions to their problems with neighbours. However, God has never abandoned us. He is always sending help to us through different people that he has appointed to bring hope to the hopeless and help to the needy. You and I are among the those that Jesus has taken to the mountain and showed us the glory that awaits us. In turn we are sent to encourage our brothers and sisters who have lost hope in life without telling them about the episode on the mountain.
Dear friend, Jesus expected the three disciples to encourage the rest of the group without telling about what happened on the mountain. They were to demonstrate their faith without referring to the episode. This was very difficult but effective. As Christian, we do not live under the influence of miracles everyday but on the faith that we draw from the one miracle that Jesus performed on the cross for all times. Those seeking miracles in order to believe are like alcoholics who cannot do anything without having a sip of liquor.
Have a fruitful Lenten season
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD
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