In the First Reading this Sunday, Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his son. Obedient and faithful, Abraham accepted God’s test. Isaac followed his father’s instructions, carrying the wood of his death to the hilltop, and willingly lying upon the wood to be sacrificed. At the last moment, the angel stopped the sacrifice.
God would not permit this sacrifice, for only God is willing to sacrifice His Son. Jesus completes the sacrifice begun by Abraham and Isaac. Only one human sacrifice on the wood is need for the salvation of souls; only one Son would die for the sins of man.
The psalm calls us to faithfulness, and the second reading reminds us that God is on our side, even when we are “greatly afflicted” (Psalm 116:10). In the Second Reading, St. Paul reminds us that Jesus “intercedes for us” at “the right hand of God” (Rom 8:34).
In Mark’s story of the Transfiguration, the clothes Jesus is wearing become as white as light. Jesus speaks with two prominent Old Testament figures the apostles immediately recognize: Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, representing the prophets. In this vivid scene on Mount Tabor, the Old Testament meets the New Testament; the law and the prophets are one in Jesus. God Himself affirms the image the apostles see: Jesus is the Son of God.
During Lent, we are called by our prayer and abstinence to become transformed into the image of Christ. At our baptism, we were presented with a white garment demonstrating our participation in Christ’s life. We are called to holiness, so that we may bring that garment unstained into the everlasting life of the Kingdom.
Let us be the voice of the Son of Man in our words and actions. Let us give God praise and glory as we demonstrate our good works in our homes, our places of work, and our communities.
I encourage you to take some time out of your busy life this Lent. Take a brief rest and reflect on the power of God in your life. We can come to know our God better through scripture and prayer during these important forty days.
May our Lenten journey be blessed!