The readings for Mass are so powerful today. Both stories are very famous. The first reading is about Abraham nearly killing his only son Isaac, and the gospel account is about the transfiguration of the Lord.
What do these two very powerful readings have to do with one another? And, why are we having them on the second Sunday in Lent?
On the surface of things the two stories are quite different from each other. Abraham nearly sacrificed his only son Isaac, and then Jesus revealed his divinity to his disciples by showing them his glorified body. A lot of Catholics are probably drawn more to one story or the other. And, of course, many of our priests homilies today will focus a lot on the gospel account of Jesus’s transfiguration, because we are just beginning to think about Christ’s passion, as we journey deeper into Lent.
However, these two stories do share a common theme:
In the first reading from the book of Genesis, God told Abraham:
“Because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly.”
Then in the gospel account, God told Peter, James and John:
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
These two statements from God reveal something very important about His nature, and His love for mankind. The reason Abraham found favor with God is because he loved God more than his own son. The reason we have salvation is because God loved us more than his own son’s life, or even the suffering that his son would go through on our account.
We do not need a lengthy reflection on today’s readings for Mass, nor do we need to examine it from many different angles in order to derive meaning about how they apply to our lives this Lent. Just ask yourself one simple question today:
Who or what, do I love more than Jesus?
Abraham and Jesus both loved God more than anyone else in their life, including those closest to them. Abraham loved God more than his only son’s life, and Jesus loved His Father and His will for his own life, more than his disciples.
What is preventing you from a deeper relationship with Jesus? What have you come to value more in your life, than your relationship with Christ?
If you can identify what you love more than the Lord Jesus, then you will have made much progress this Lent.