Second Sunday of Lent
I expect that it would be fine by us if faith in God was a guarantee that we would never face difficulties or be “put to the test” while on this earth. However, this evidently is not the case. We may, in fact, undergo a variety of hardships in the midst of our sincere efforts to be faithful followers of Christ.
God does permit tests, most notably, of course, in the case of Jesus the Christ, whose undeserved and unjust horrific sufferings and death we reflect on during this Lenten Season. Why God permits the innocent to suffer is perhaps one of life’s most difficult mysteries to fathom. Being “put to the test” is an important consideration in today’s Mass for the second Sunday of Lent.
Abraham was surely tested when he thought that God was asking him to fatally sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. Fortunately, at the last moment, God made it clear to Abraham that he was not to slay Isaac. This was indeed a mysterious test of Abraham’s faith and trust in God.
The Transfiguration of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel reading was perhaps an encouraging message to both Jesus and His apostles that beyond their upcoming sufferings and deaths was the promise of a glorified eternal life. This can be an encouragement to us as well, who strive to follow in the way of Christ, despite any struggles and sufferings we may encounter along that way.
We do well, then, to pay close attention to Saint Paul’s words to us (second Scripture reading): “Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? …Christ Jesus it is…who intercedes for us.” We have good reason to be encouraged!
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in You and trust You. Please send Your Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen me, especially when I encounter life’s burdens; and may I, when possible, be a source of encouragement to others who are struggling. Amen
Fr. Ray Doherty, S.S.E. ’51, Campus Minister
First Reading: Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15-19
Second Reading: Romans 8:31b-34
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website