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March 8, 2020 Second Sunday of Lent

Today’s First Reading from the Book of Genesis involved the Divine calling of Abraham to become the spiritual father of the people of God. The appearance of Abraham in history marked a new era. God intervened in the course of history, reshaping its future to embrace His Divine Plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Lord called Abram to take his relatives and to depart from his country and his father’s house. From there, all would journey to the land that the Lord would show them through Abram.

From this biblical passage, we learn that Abram did not take the initiation to communicate with God or to seek His blessings. Rather, it was Yahweh who made the first initiation. Equally, when we were called to become Christians in the living faith, it was not by our own initiation. Rather, it was the grace of God that was manifested in us first. “In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us…”

The fiat of Abram embraced two commands. First, he was required to completely disassociate himself from his pagan past. Secondly, he was required to migrate to a land of God’s choice. Equally, when we accepted Christ in our lives through faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism, we were called to detach ourselves from our past. “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away. And our migration is our spiritual journey in the Sacramental life of the Holy Catholic Church, the Body of Christ.

God promised Abraham, that of him, He would make a great nation, that He would bless him and make great his name so that Abraham would be a blessing to many. Abraham was the first of many to be made righteous not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Abraham did not say, “Oh Lord, can it wait until tomorrow, I am tired.” Nor did he say, “Lord, I am too old to start walking blindly, not knowing where you are going to guide me.” As the Virgin Mary gave her fiat unconditionally to the angel of the Lord, Abraham gave his fiat unconditionally to Yahweh. These models of perfect fiats remind us that we should not delay our commitment to accept Christ in our lives. We should not delay our admission into the Body of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism. Nor should we delay our obligation to receive the Sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist on a regular basis to maintain our righteousness before God.

Today’s Second Reading from the Second Letter of Timothy is a reminder that God calls each and everyone of us. God wants us to become holy, reminding us that we have received our life and immortality through the Gospel.

When we received the Sacrament of Confirmation, having been perfectly bound to the Church and enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit, as true witnesses, we became more strictly obligated to spread and defend the Catholic faith by our words and deed.

During today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew, we heard that in the company of Peter, James and his brother John, Jesus transfigured on a high mountain. What was the exact purpose of His transfiguration, three reasons can be given.

(1) First of all, when God spoke from Heaven, as He had spoken during the Baptism of Jesus, the son-ship of Jesus was being revealed to those who were present.

(2) Secondly, when the face of Jesus shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white, the event may have testified to the fact that the Lord Jesus was the true Light which enlightens everyone.

(3) Thirdly, the transfiguration may have foreshadowed the eternal reign of Jesus as God and King in Heaven. The Book of Revelation tells us, “And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light…” “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.”

When Moses and Elijah appeared, Peter must have recalled the brightness of the face of Moses on Mt. Sinai when He received the Ten Commandments. Moses and Elijah were symbolic figures, representing the Law and the Prophets. Jesus was not about to receive a new revelation; He was uniting the two, He being the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.

While Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah, “a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!'” The bright cloud is a symbol of the presence of God.

When the supernatural event was finally over, Jesus and His disciples went down the mountain. While doing so, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” For it was not yet the time for the world to know and understand that Jesus was closing the age of the Law and the Prophets. And begin an era of his Gospel.

Today’s three readings remind us that the Heavenly Father sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so we may be saved through the grace and mercy of a loving God who never abandoned us to sin, suffering and death. Before we were created, the Lord God called us with a holy calling. Through Christ, He showed us the way, the truth and the life. And asked us to listen and follow Him.

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