for Sunday, March 4, 2012
If God is for us, who can be against us? Lent is a time to recognize that
God is for us, always and everywhere. God is for us, not matter how much a
situation may seem to be against us. God is always for us.
The first reading for today, from the Book of Genesis, is a real
challenge. Too often we read stories like this one today and don't stop to
think of the anguish of Abraham or of the absolute terror of Isaac. These
stories speak about terrible human situations and the necessity of finding
God in such happenings. They speak of the promptings of God in our lives
and how we must listen attentively to Him. The story of Abraham is a
terrible story and yet also helps us comprehend the love God has for us in
sending Jesus to be our Savior.
The Gospel today is almost comic. Obviously something happened on the
mountain that disoriented Peter, James and John. They had some small
glimpse into the life of Jesus and its anguish. They also saw a bit of His
divinity shining through Him. What an incredible experience!
Both the reading from Genesis and from the Gospel of Mark can be summed up
in the Letter to the Romans: Christ intercedes for us.
These thoughts repeat for us the message: God loves us entirely, God
always pardons us. God is willing to give His Son for us. Jesus is
willing to die for us! This is the Good News of Lent. It is only Good
News if we can hear it. Our ears are so often deaf. The penance of Lent
is to help us open our ears. The penance of Lent has nothing to do with
punishing us, nor with tell us that we are no good. It was to do with our
desire to have ears that can hear God, eyes that can see God and hearts
that can love God.
So as we begin this Second Week of Lent, let us walk with joy even as we
continue with penance! Let us recognize that we want our lives to be
changed so that all that we live and hope and are may be the gift of God
who loves us.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Genesis 22.1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Second Reading: Romans 8.31b-35, 37++
Gospel: Mark 9.2-10
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: