God Is Ready To Offer Us His Son, But Wants Us To: “Listen To Him!”
Rdgs: (1st: Gen 22, 1-2. 9-18; Ps 115, 10. 15-19; 2nd: Rom 8, 31-34: Gos: Mc 9, 2-10)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today marks the beginning of the second week of our Journey with Christ. So, on this Second Sunday of Lent, God shows us his willingness to offer his only son to us, and for our salvation. Today Christ is revealed through his transfiguration as the son of God who is with us. The only thing that God demands from us is: “Listen to him.” If we listen to Christ, God’s gift to us, we shall be successful in our journey with him this season.
In our first reading from Genesis, Abraham was put to test and he remained faithful to God. God did not require him to do anything that He Himself would not do. In fact, the command to Abraham to offer his only son was intended to foreshadow how God would offer his only beloved son for our sake in the future. God halted the sacrifice of Isaac because, Abraham’s faith was very clear by the fact that he was ready to carry out the will of God. Abraham listened to God, and then obeyed him. Abraham was ready to offer his only son Isaac to make God happy. He did not question or challenge God about the victim for the sacrifice. Instead, he left that question for his son Isaac to ask. Also, rather than ask God for anything, he was ready to offer God something very dear to him. Abraham considered his walk with God more important than any other thing. What do we learn from Abraham today? The first is his attentiveness to the word of God and his obedience to God’s will. The second is his trust in God, his generosity towards God. This is a season to pause and to ask God: “Please Lord, what must I do to make you happy? The answer is simple. We must be ready to listen to God and, to do what he wants us to do as Abraham did.
Our second reading is one of the most comforting and encouraging passage in the bible, filled with hope. This is especially, during this season of Lent. Paul offers us three hopeful assurances: “There is no opposition; there is no condemnation; and there is no separation.” The reason as Paul puts it is this: “If God graciously gave His Son for us, will He not freely give us all things?” It is therefore, wonderful to know that like Abraham, God was not selfish as most of us are today. Instead, He gave everything as the gospel of John tells us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (Jn 3:16). What this means is that God is ready to do anything good to save us. However, this is, as long as we continue to walk with his son Jesus Christ. So as we continue our journey with Christ this season, we should not be afraid. All that we need to do is to continue to respond, to walk faithfully, and to listen to Christ attentively. God is ready to make sure that we get to our destination this season, and nothing can stop us because, Christ his son is with us on our journey. This is why Paul encourages us with these words: “Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could any one condemn? Could Christ?” Of course, the answer is: “No!”
The gospel of this Sunday according to Mark, presents the scene of the transfiguration of Jesus. The transfiguration reflects the divinity of Jesus the Son of God who manifests his glory to three of his disciples. Transfiguration is simply a glimpse of the gift and glory of God that we will share in the future if we endure to the end. Today, God revealed the gift he is about to offer us. This gift is Jesus Christ his only Son. Today’s gospel like the second reading is a message of hope. This is because God revealed to us the glory which will be ours through Christ. In today’s gospel, God spoke eloquently and confirms the lordship of Jesus Christ: “This is my beloved…” However, He demands only one thing from us: “Listen to him!” Are we ready to listen to Jesus this season and beyond? Listening to him means transforming our lives and changing our ways. It means living according to the word of God we hear every day. It means walking with God. It means trusting him no matter our circumstances. Listening to Jesus means obeying His will and, it also means paying attention to what the church teaches us every day.
Where is Christ revealed and, where can we hear Him speak? We must hear Christ through the poor and the marginalized. We can hear Christ through the rich and wealthy who live in fear for their lives every day. We can hear him through those who have no one to speak for them. We hear Christ through the sick, especially, those who cannot pay their medical bills. We can hear him through the abandoned old people. We can hear Christ through abandoned children in our streets and society. We can hear him through the blood of the innocent men and women killed all over the world. We can hear Christ through the millions of aborted babies all over the world. We can hear Christ speak our lonely neighbour who needs some care and comfort. We can hear Christ through families and communities in difficulties. If we respond to these quickly, rather than being indifferent, then we are listening to Jesus Christ the beloved son of God.
Finally, today, Christ reveals himself to us as the Christ of Glory. However, we must bear in mind that before this glory, He must suffer, be crucified and be buried. Therefore, we must be ready to go through these stages with him this season especially during the ways of the cross. Before we enjoy this gift and glory, we too like him, must endure the sufferings he endured. Transfiguration means change. So it must turn us to Jesus this season of Lent. So let us confidently say today: “I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Peace be with you!