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Second Sunday of Lent — Feb. 28, 2021

Bishop’s Reflections

February 28, 2021

Each week, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Second Sunday of Lent — Feb. 28, 2021

In the first reading from the Book of Genesis, God puts Abraham’s trust in him to an extreme test. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as a holocaust, or burnt offering.

Abrahams painfully prepares to do as he was requested. But then, an angel stays his hand, saying, “Do not lay your hand on the boy. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”

I know how earthy this story sounds to our modern sensitivities. But it tells the depths of Abraham’s faith in God. We call him, “Our father in faith” for a reason.

Elsewhere in the same chapter of Genesis, Isaac asked naively, “Where is the sheep for the burnt offering.” Abraham answered him prophetically, “God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering.”

God did provide the sheep for the sacrifice — HIS only begotten Son — only many centuries later.

In the Gospel, Jesus is transfigured in a majestic way before Peter, James and John. During the event Moses (the lawgiver) and Elijah (the prophet) spoke to Jesus. Reading this passage in context, it becomes clear that Jesus soon is going to head to Jerusalem, where he will be put to death for the sake of the world.

Just as Abraham proved his devotion to God by being willing to give up his only son, so God is going to prove his devotion to the world by giving up his only Son on the cross.

Yes, this is scandalous. But there is hope. The transfiguration gives us a glimpse of the end of the story — GLORY. Death somehow does lead to life, sacrifice to salvation, and the cross to the resurrection.

Jesus did rise from the dead. His glory shone in his resurrected body just as it shown on that day of transfiguration. The glory of God which gives light to the world comes from Christ who is both human and divine, both crucified and alive. We cannot keep that fact silent, to ourselves. This is something to shout about.

The cross has become the sign of God’s great love for us.

As St. Paul said in our second reading today: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all, how will he not give us everything else along with him?”

Have a blessed week everyone.

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