Second Sunday of Lent – Year B

Lent is a time for special encounters with God in prayer. It is a time for new insights into what God wants of us on our journey of faith.

The readings and the Gospel of the second week of Lent contain such powerful messages for each one of us to reflect.

The first reading, Genesis 22: 1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18, recalls the toughed test that Abraham had to face with. God told him to take his son, Isaac, the "child of promise", and travel to the land of Moriah, up on mountain, where he was to offer Isaac in sacrifice! This request must have devastated Abraham in heart and mind.

Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed God to the point of raising his knife to kill his son. How was he to know that this was only a test? An angel stopped his arm, and God, now satisfied, renewed the covenant He had made. And Abraham then knew that if he was to please God, he must offer Him absolutely everything of himself, of his dearest possessions, and his very hope of future joy.

Another great encounter with God is offered to us this Sunday in the Gospel, Mark 9: 2-10. It was also offered on mountain - Mount Tabor. On that mountaintop the disciples saw Jesus talking with two men. Peter, James, and John recognized them as Moses and Elijah. Moses represented the Law, and Elijah represented the prophets who were sent by God to call kings and the Israelites to follow their consciences and do the "right thing".

As Jesus talked with Moses and Elijah, He was radiant with glory. The disciples heard words from heaven "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!"

The request from God the Father to all of Jesus’ followers is that we listen to his Son Jesus. How often do we listen God’s voice?

God demanded total surrender from Abraham. Although God spared Isaac, He did not spare His only Son, Jesus, as the second reading says, Romans, Rom 8: 31b-34. God gave Jesus up for us, for our salvation.

May our prayer this week be one of total surrender, total love, and trust to our God.

Fr. Phi Nguyen

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