Weâ€™re now ten days into the season of lent.Â And while many of us havenâ€™t really felt the effects of Lenten discipline, some of us might need to be encouraged just a bit.
- In our second reading, St. Paul is emphatic: God is for us, and thus no one and no thing of any significance can be against us.Â Most importantly, Christ intercedes for us, watches over us, guides and encourages us throughout our lives.Â So, when we might feel â€˜beat-upâ€™ or dejected, keep Him in mind.
- In our first reading, Abraham lets nothing stand in the way of Faith.Â As unbelievable as it may seem, heâ€™s even willing to go so far as to offer his son as a sacrifice in order to re-establish and re-affirm his covenant relationship with Yahweh-God.Â Unbelievably, he comes so close and with such resolve, yet God shows again his deep love: staying Abrahamâ€™s hand God is fully delighted in the fact of his servantâ€™s faith.Â Through such a willingness (albeit devastating and painful) to offer his own son, Abraham is blessed with the greatest of covenants, blessings and rewards.
- And finally, in our Gospel, Jesus is transfigured while three of his disciples look on.Â These blessed bystanders are able to witness the glory that would soon flow from Christâ€™s suffering, death, and rising.Â In other words, the result of Godâ€™s offering of His only Son (recall Abraham and Isaac), allows this Son to be glorified; and further, we are able to witness this, to be transformed by such an offering, to receive the deep and countless blessings of an eternal covenant offered by God, through Christ.
So what does all this mean?Â What are these circumstances meant to convey to usâ€¦Godâ€™s people of faith?
Abraham intuited Godâ€™s mercy when He was willing to offer Isaac in sacrifice.Â Only this assurance could compel Abraham to such depths of obedience.Â Similarly, in the Transfiguration, God reveals to the disciples a glory they could never otherwise imagine.Â But such a glory requires the slaughter of a Sonâ€¦and our faithfulness to this Son guarantees that, we too, might receive unfathomable life.
So, remember this, when all is said and done: God is not only â€œwith usâ€ (as we said in our Christmastime â€œEmmanuelâ€), but He is ultimately â€œfor usâ€â€¦His chosen ones.
God bless you throughout this holy season.