Second Sunday of Lent

This a Sunday we should briefly reflect about the virtue of faith. Abraham, is presented as a model, and that is the type of faith that we are called to embrace[1].

Trough the grace of baptism we are called to be different from those elements of the world that do not make God their priority. We are called to leave the security of trusting in our land, or our stuff, and to put our faith completely in God, as Abraham did. We are called to be part of a new people, a new breed, who are radically different from the world. In other words: we are called to be holy, for that is what holiness is, being set apart for God[2].

In our Lord we have a great example: as the Man of Faith trusted completely in his Father's plan. The mysterious meeting on the mountain with Moses and Elijah strengthened His resolve to let God's plan take effect in Him. He would trust God to allow His Plan to be accomplished. And He would not let His disciples say anything about the vision until He had risen from the dead. We cannot come to any sort of understanding of Easter Sunday unless we experience Good Friday.

In the midst of our Eucharist we call out to Jesus as the paradigm of faith, and we ask Him for the courage to trust in God. We do not know how God is going to work out that unique reason for each of our existences; we do know that if we trust in him, he will find a way to use us to reflect His image in the world.

We can see everyday that people –family, neighbors, friends, partners, are thirst of divine words, are thirst of the God’s experience. If we trust in our Lord He will work in wonderful and mysterious ways through us, and we will be instruments of His peace.

Bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God, we heard in the second reading for today. It is tough being a Christian.

We cannot be part of the pagan world. At the same time, it is wonderful being a Christian, a son of God in the Catholic Church.

We have been given a great gift of strength, strength that comes from God. Can we withstand temptation? Yes, God gives us this strength. Can we withstand persecution, mockery for our beliefs? We do every day, every time we watch TV, go to the movies, read the newspaper or have any of the contact we must have with those who are closed to the spiritual. We would rather be mocked for believing than condemned to a hell of unbelief here and a terror of life without His love afterwards. We can bear our share of the hardship because He has given us the power to be holy.

Today, as we do every day, but particularly during the season of Lent, we pray for faith, the faith ob Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, the faith of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Sunday 17th February, 2008, 2nd Sunday of Lent. Readings: Genesis 12:1-4. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.-Ps 32(33):4-5, 18-20, 22. 2 Timothy 1:8-10. Matthew 17:1-9. [Seven Founders of the Servites].
[2] Cfr MT 5:48.
Ilustration: The Company of Jesus commissioned from Vasari a cycle of frescoes for their own oratory in Cortona. (This oratory is now part of the Museo Diocesano.) The cycle, seen in the twelve lunettes on the walls, was intended to show the sacrifices offered by characters of the Old Testament, one on each wall. The cycle ends with the representation on the vault of three episodes from the New Testament, connecting the theme of the transition from the Old to the New Testament. These episodes depict the Transfiguration, the Descent in Limbo, and the Conversion of St Paul.

Cristofano Gherardi, Transfiguration (1555) Fresco, Museo Diocesano, Cortona.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris