2nd Sunday of Lent – 2018

L2B18.   Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18.  “God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love.”  “You shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height.”    Abraham, having made the arrangements as the Lord required of him, he “took the knife to slaughter his son; but the Lord stopped him and said, “I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”  “Because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly.”  God the Father later did not withhold his own beloved Son Jesus because he was not looking for only obedience to his Will but also the necessary sacrifice to redeem us and open the gates of heaven.  God is love and so his Will is love especially when it requires total surrender on our part.  The total surrender to God’s will by Abraham was like a death to his own will that gave birth to a nation, the Chosen People of God.  The total surrender of Jesus to his Father’s will was a death to his own natural demand to hold on to natural life that gave birth to having human beings become God’s holy people in heaven.

God finished speaking to Abraham by saying, “And in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing—all this because you obeyed my command.” The Hebrew people were chosen by God not only for their own sake but also to be a living lesson in the darkness of a pagan world of God to the brightness of God’s love for the Hebrew people.

Mark 9:2-10.  “And he was transfigured before them.”  “Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.” Jesus appears to Peter, James and John as the heavenly figure that he has the right to claim but had not shown himself as such before this.  What he had proclaimed verbally before when he said, “This is the time of fulfilment; the kingdom of God is at hand,” he now proclaims visually.  What God had begun before in the time of the Old Testament with such figure as Moses and Elijah, he now brings to fulfilment in Jesus. God the Father announces, “This is my beloved Son.”   As the Our Father prayer says, “Thy kingdom come,” Jesus brings to fruition the kingdom of God in the hearts, souls and lives of all who choose to listen to him and obey him.  “He charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”  In the scene of the transfiguration he was making known to them the glory of his resurrection from his death on the cross, but all of that was beyond their capacity to comprehend at this point in time.

Romans 8:31b-34.   “Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us?”  This is a rhetorical question that means to say that, since God is with us or allied to us in this life’s venture to be a holy people of God, it is useless, utterly futile, to be opposed to us.  God is so intent on bringing us to salvation that he even sacrificed his only beloved son for us.  And so Paul goes on to write, “How will he not also give us everything else along with him?”  Paul again reasserts the worthlessness of opposing those who stand with the Lord when he writes, “Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?  It is God who acquits us.”  Besides that, it is Christ Jesus, “who also is at the right hand of God, who intercedes for us.”