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Second Sunday of Lent – 25 February 2024

From the land of Moriah to Calvary.

God asked Abraham to take Isaac, his only beloved son, to the land of Moriah and offer him up as a holocaust. God was testing him. And we know that Abraham passed the test. What we do not know is what was truly going on in the mind of God. Why did he have to do that to the poor, faithful old man? That is so cruel, and maybe, beyond any justification. Then, after toying with his emotions, God blessed Abraham in the end. Was that to compensate for all possible emotional, mental, moral, physical and spiritual damages God may have caused? Remember, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.” We will never really fully comprehend. But rest assured, in faith, God only wants what is best for us.

Here is the bigger puzzle. God spared Isaac but did not spare His own Son. God, willingly, handed over His only Begotten Son as a sign of His great love for us. And according to St Paul, “How will He not also give us everything else along with Him?” This God Who was so “cruel” to Abraham seems to be so obsessed with humanity that He is willing to sacrifice ALL, and He means ALL, for us. What have we done to deserve Him? Nothing. It is just that, it is God’s nature.

Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. This is a glimpse, a foretaste of the glory that is to be revealed. This is an assurance to all of Jesus’ followers that everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property for God’s sake will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. Wait… Isn’t this almost similar to the blessing and promise given to Abraham after God tested Abraham and he passed the test? So, too, Jesus’ followers will have to go through the “test” and if they remain faithful, will also be blessed and rewarded.

It is only a glimpse, a foretaste. Jesus and the disciples had to come down from the mountain and Jesus had to tell them about his impending death and resurrection. This is something entirely new to the disciples. So as they carried on, they were to slowly understand what Jesus meant. And they had to be with Jesus and witness what he told them would happen. They, too, would go through it but not without faith and trust in Jesus. What He showed them would be their source of hope, strength and inspiration.   


Fr Gilbert

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