Thursday 25 December 2014

2nd Sunday of Lent Year B

Some cultures view high places such as the top of mountains, hills, above the trees and other similar places with much reverence, since they believe that high places are sacred places where the divine resides or where the divine might be encountered. Some cultures even build temples, build shrines, perform sacrifices, and many other things or rituals, in an attempt to establish communication or a connection with the divine.

In today's readings, we come across examples of high places where the divine is encountered. In the first reading, Abraham obeyed God's command and almost sacrificed his son Isaac to God on a mountain. In the Gospel, Jesus was transfigured on a mountain, and Peter, James and John were granted the privilege of experiencing the divine. But what is more important in these readings is not the mountain or some other high place, but what God did after that. What God did was to grant a gift far greater than the events which took place on the mountain.

In the first reading, Abraham obeyed God and was about to sacrifice his son as a gift to God, but God gave Abraham a far greater gift when He said: "because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience." Likewise, in the Gospel, the disciples have the privilege of hearing God's voice: "This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him." Jesus is God's gift to all of us, and we do not need to go about offering sacrifices or climbing mountains or other high places in an attempt to be closer to God. We just need to listen to Jesus. And when we listen to Jesus and do whatever He tells us, we can be sure of God's help and providence, as St. Paul tells us in the second reading: "With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give."

Are we listening to Jesus? Are we doing our best to listen to Jesus in good times and also in bad? We sometimes feel as if Jesus is not speaking to us or helping us when we face tough times or difficult situations. But if we open our ears and also the ears of our hearts, we would be able to hear His soft but reassuring voice, inviting us to trust in Him and let Him be our guide. As we journey on in this season of Lent, let us not be distracted or give up, but focus on Jesus. Let us continue to seek Jesus, the greatest gift of all.

No comments:

Post a Comment