Sundays in Lent – 2nd Sunday

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Readings: GN 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18, PS 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19, 2 ROM 8:31B-34, MK 9:2-10

G-d calls and we answer. I honestly don’t know what my response would be if G-d asked me to sacrifice my first-born, or any of my children. I wonder if it would have been different had Sarah been asked.

A few things struck me from today’s readings and we begin the second week of Lent.

I hadn’t noticed before how the sacrifice of Isaac parallels G-d’s own sacrifice of His Son. It’s more than mere coincidence. As any parent knows, it takes many forms to show the same lesson and for children to absorb it. Abraham and Isaac were the first in a long line of sacrifice and covenant. Not blind faith, but trusting in G-d, waiting to see the path before us.

In the second reading, Paul asks, “If G-d is there for us, who can be against us?” is a parallel to the Angel’s conversation with Mary, “for nothing will be impossible for G-d.” [Luke 1:37]

And finally, G-d’s announcement, his acknowledgment that Jesus is his son before witnesses. His direction to listen to him [to Jesus]. The confirmation by having the two revered prophets, Moses and Elijah, both from Exodus as if to offer a new exodus fo the followers of Jesus.

Where will this week take you?

Are you escaping something monumental or mundane? Have you explored or at least introduced yourself to the three pillars of Lent – fast, pray, almsgiving?

Is there a way to include those three every week, or every day if youo’re able rather than a ticky box of accomplishments?

Can you make them part of your post-Lent life?

Maybe.

If nothing is impossible for G-d, then nothing is impossible with G-d.

This is the path I had to take to reach the holy well of St. Elen in Dolwyddelan in Wales. I had come to this place especially to visit the well. I guaranteed seeing the well by staying at the adjacent hotel, named for Elen, although it’s debatable with Welsh Elen it’s named for. This was my pilgrimage, my mission, and when I encountered this steep, muddy, slippery path, I paused. Three thousand miles, a rental car, a ferry across the Irish Sea, a FERRY for two hours through WATER, and this steep, obviously exhausting path was going to stop me. I hesitated for only a moment. It was an impossible task, but I would not let it stop me. For nothing is impossible with G-d. (c)2018

Readings

GN 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command.”

2 ROM 8:31B-34
Brothers and sisters:
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?

Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised—
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
Verse Before The Gospel CF. MT 17:5
From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.

Gospel MK 9:2-10 

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

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.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

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