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Scripture Reflections - Feb. 28
Second Sunday of Lent

READINGS
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Romans 8:31b-34
Mark 9:2-10

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Lent is a time for change. When women go to the beauty salon, and men go to a barber shop, they hope to look different, and maybe even feel different when they come out! After a week and a half of Lent, do you feel any change yet?

Thousands of years ago, Abraham and his son Isaac certainly felt the shock of change in what happened to them in today’s reading. God tells Abraham to take his son, Isaac, the “child of promise,” and to travel to the land of Moriah, up a mountain there, where he is offer Isaac in sacrifice! This request must have devastated Abraham in heart and mind. He must have felt that God had tricked him years ago when He promised himself and Sarah that their descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Nevertheless, he obeys 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 stops his arm, and God, now satisfied, renews the covenant He had made. And Abraham is really convinced that, if he is to please God, he must offer him absolutely everything of himself, of his dearest possessions, and his every hope of future joy. After this experience, Abraham and Isaac were certainly changed. And God knew that He could trust them to do anything He asked.

God wants to change each one of us this Lent. He wants to remove all those flaws and sins that keep Him from working through us in His World. Even if we’re satisfied with the way we are now, Jesus our Brother wants us to change. Why? He wants to combat the evil that is spoiling everything. He needs us to love everyone, to share our faith and our values with those who may be wavering and be channels of God’s power through our prayer and sacrifice.

Another great encounter with God is offered us in this Sunday’s Gospel. It was offered first to Peter, James, and John on a mountain, Mt. Tabor, which rises almost two thousand feet about the level land of Lower Galilee. Tired from the climb, the three disciples wake from a snooze, only to find Jesus who has been praying, suddenly radiant before them, talking with two men. They recognize these strangers as Moses and Elijah, Moses represents the Law, and Elijah represents the prophets. The three chosen ones fall down in awe. Peter wants to build them all tents so they can stay there.

As Jesus is talking with them, He is radiant with glory. Then a cloud overshadows them, and a voice like thunder is heard. “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!”

This Lenten season, let’s resolve to listen through Scripture and prayer what Jesus wants of us. These are such dangerous times. Only God can give us enlightenment, courage, and confidence.

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