February 28, 2021 — Second Sunday of Lent
GN 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; PS 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19; ROM 8:31b-34; MK 9:2-10
Our readings today are a powerful testimony to God’s profound love for each one of us. This is an important message that is conveyed during this holy season of Lent as we partake in the suffering, death and resurrection of God’s only Son. It is also a reminder for us, as Christian stewards, to surrender all that we have to the Gracious Giver.
The First Reading from Genesis is the infamous story of God putting Abraham to the test. God commands Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, to the Lord as a sacrifice. Abraham obeys the Lord. He takes Isaac up to the land of Moriah, builds an altar and prepares to slaughter his son. Yet, a messenger of the Lord cries out at the last moment to stop him, “Do not lay your hand on the boy… I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” Because of Abraham’s faithfulness and surrender to the Lord, the Lord blesses him abundantly, “I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky.”
We can only imagine how Abraham felt, offering the life of his son, not understanding why, but blindly obeying. Yet, Abraham’s response of total surrender to God’s plan is a beautiful testament to trust in God’s deep love for us. As Christian stewards, we are called to surrender all to the Lord — our time, our talents and even our material possessions. We should willingly give God our entire lives with the confidence that He will take care of us. When we surrender all to the Lord, we are allowing Him to be in charge. And just as we see in Abraham’s story, when God is in control, He blesses abundantly. Our God is all good, all knowing and all loving. All that He has in store for us is for the good of our salvation. He will not disappoint.
St. Paul echoes this message so beautifully in our Second Reading. He says, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” God loves us so much that He gave us His only Son who suffered, died and rose for us. He has given us His very best. Can we not entrust our entire lives to Him knowing He will continue to pour out His love on us?
In our Gospel, Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain, apart from the rest. It says, “he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white.” Then God spoke out from a cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Peter, James and John had this intimate moment with Jesus, seeing Him as He truly is.
God desires to have this intimate relationship with us too. As we entrust our lives to God, He will more fully reveal Himself to us. We will more clearly see Christ in our lives as He truly is and, in turn, we will become more dazzling ourselves.
Let us strive to journey up the mountain with Jesus during this Lenten season — growing in our intimate relationship with Him. May we reflect on His profound love for us on this journey. And let us pray for total surrender to His providence.