Second Sunday of Lent
I was struck by the pattern presented to us in this Sunday’s readings, which seem to point towards the call and response that lives at the center of our faith. In the first and second readings, we see God asking something of His people, of us—He invites us to live in holiness, to live as gift to those around us, and even to prepare our hearts to suffer adversity for His sake…not exactly easy tasks! But we also see that He does not demand this of us in a vacuum; rather, He reminds us that He is with us every step of the way, and that He gives us everything that we need for our journey. “I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” God calls us to be a blessing to the world around us, but He first provides us with the grace to do so! “Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel.” True, but we are made capable of this “with the strength that comes from God,” not through our own imperfect power!
In the face of intimidating challenges of a life of true discipleship that we sometimes encounter, there are times when all of us can identify with the almost immobilizing fear of Peter, James, and John. But we must always remember that Jesus reached out and met them in the midst of that fear: “Jesus came and touched them, saying ‘Rise, and do not be afraid.’” We, too, are being called to let Christ draw near and touch our hearts, and to rise and boldly respond to His invitation to become transfigured through Him, and to transfigure the whole world in turn!
Loving Father, we pray for the grace to open our hearts to You, so that we may hear Your voice in our lives, and trust in Your words. Strengthen us with the courage to share Your blessing with the world, even in the face of hardship, and help us to be like Peter, James, and John—to rise, to be unafraid, and to see nothing but You, O Jesus! Amen.
Ashlee Hauble, ’17
First Reading: Genesis 12:1-4a
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9