⏰Second Sunday of Lent (Year B)

????Gen 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Ps 116:10 and 15, 16-17, 18-19 (R.v.9); Rom 8:31b-34; Mark 9:2-10

The faithfulness of God to those who put their trust in him cannot be put to question. That is one point that St. Paul makes in the Second Reading. If he would not spare his only Son but gave him up to save us, what could he not do for us? See a connection between that and what Abraham did in the First Reading. It portrays the highest form of loyalty. Therefore, we must make effort to see that we have absolute faith in God and stay with him as the First Reading and the Gospel instruct us.

Consider the settings of both stories in the First Reading and the Gospel. The successful part of them took place on the mountain. The mountain is biblically considered as a place of encounter with God. Most people who found their way up to the mountain met with blessing and joy. Abraham in the First Reading got a gift of a ram which would be offered as a burnt offering in the place of his son (cf. Gen 22:13). Peter, James and John enjoyed the vision they had on the mountain during the transfiguration of Jesus to the extent that Peter thought that it would be better for them to remain there (cf. Mark 9:5). Remember also that the prophet Isaiah had also prophesied of a great banquet to take place on the mountain (Isa 25). Just to mention but a few.

However, it is not always easy to get to the top of the mountain. Abraham must have been on his way to the top of that mountain with a heavy heart; after all, he was going there to sacrifice his son. More difficult to understand is the fact that it was his faith in God that put him through that heart-breaking experience. Why would God allow that? St. James would tell us that trials of that form serve to make us steadfast (cf. Jam 1:3). It is your steadfastness with God that shall win you your victory (cf. Luke 21:19).

Distractions might creep in as well in the form of Isaac asking the father, “Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” (Gen 22:8). Whatever you might be passing through, let your focus be on the mountain. Pray with faith and hope that the transfigured Son of God would be with you. And as long as he is with you, whatever force that work against you would only be a weakling because he that is in you is more powerful than he that is in the world (cf. 1 John 4:4).

May the Lord give us the grace to always remain close to him so that when the troubles of this world try to weigh us down, he may raise us up. And may we remain focused on spiritual pilgrimage until we behold his glory in the end. Amen.

Have a faithful and blessed Sunday. Peace be with you.

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