A HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT – CYCLE “B” – 3/1/15 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
Hopefully, when we were all deciding last week what to give up for Lent, we thought and prayed about what we needed to give up this year. Maybe we even asked God what would be the best thing for us to give up. And of course, some of the things that we need to most pay attention to, and perhaps most need to give up, our those little things in our lives that have become little gods. I’m talking about those things that have become way more important to us, than they should be. Maybe that is food. Maybe that is alcohol. Maybe it is money, which has become a false god to many people. Maybe it is chocolate, or TV, or the internet. False gods come in all sorts of shapes, and sizes, and variety. But Lent is the perfect time for focusing on the real God and rooting out all false gods from our lives. Remember the First Commandment: “I am the Lord your God, and you shall not have false gods before me.” We have a jealous God.
No matter what God has led us to give up for this Lent, I seriously doubt that it is anything near as extreme as to what God asked Abraham to give up in our first reading today. Remember, Abraham and Sarah had waited and prayed their entire lives for a child. It was what they both wanted more than anything else! Obviously, Isaac was extremely important to both of them! The question became, was Isaac more important to his parents than God? I don’t think we can begin to imagine Abraham and Sarah’s horror at the thought that God wanted them to give up Isaac. Abraham made the preparations and was truly going to do what God had asked of him, but make no mistake about it, Abraham’s heart was broken. The blessing of Isaac had come from God though, and for Abraham, nothing was more important than God. For his Faith, his trust, and his willingness to make God the most important thing in his life, Abraham was rewarded with this special relationship, this covenant, with God, that would last for all time! The being willing to sacrifice whatever was needed, even though God ultimately deemed that the killing of Isaac was NOT necessary, was very important to the relationship between Abraham and God. It proved Abraham’s love. It was a sign to God. So too are our sacrifices signs to God of our love and commitment. It is why we are doing Lent. It is why we fast, and we pray, and we offer almsgiving, and why we give up things and make sacrifices. Because every bit as much as we need to know God’s love for us, so does God need to know of our love. God may never ask most of us to give up one of our children. But God still wants to know that there is nothing more important than Him in our lives. Lent is our time to prove that.
Lent is also our time of transfiguration. We, like the Apostles Peter, James, and John, need to see our Lord in a new light. And we need to let that same powerful God, with all of His might and glory, to transfigure us into what we were created to be! We are the sons and daughters of God! Think about that for just a moment! We were created by Him. And He did give up His Only Son for us. And He wants to transfigure us. He wants to re-make us. He wants to save us from ourselves and our world! If only we would let Him! And Lent is the perfect time for that also!
We can’t do that on our own. It is why we need God so much. We need His help, His grace, His strength, and His peace. There is no false god that we have or have ever had, that can do that for us. Not money. Not power or popularity. Not sex and certainly not pornography. Not drugs, or alcohol, or food. There is no other god like our God. We can try as many of them as we want, but in the end, not one of them is going to save us.
At the Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John realized that in following Jesus, they had gotten involved in something much, much bigger than they had ever imagined. Some of our theologians tell us that from that moment on, they like Jesus, were on their way to the Cross and to Heaven. Things would never ever be able to be the same again! May this Lent do the same things for us! We are on this journey with Jesus. May He raise up and glorify each one of us, as we get closer to the Cross and Heaven!
+ May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!