The Second Sunday of Lent
Gen 12:1-4; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Mt 17:1-9 (Year A)
“The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your family and your father’s house for the land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation. All the tribes of the earth shall bless themselves by you.”
The call of Abram, set against the preceding account of the Tower of Babel, represented a new beginning for sinful humanity. The Tower of Babel, representing the sinful self-seeking that had raised itself above God and every other consideration, had been a graphic representation of the chaos and division that is sin’s inevitable consequence. Sin blinds us to the beauty and harmony of God’s creation. We cease to understand either ourselves or those around us. Our isolation breeds a fear and distrust that multiplies in division and violence. Such was the fate of the architects of Babel’s arrogant sin.
Set against a darkness that is only too recognisable today, the call of Abram must be understood as the Father’s gracious invitation to every generation.
Any new beginning inevitably involves sacrifice. Abram had been called to abandon the familiar securities of family and belonging. Lent calls us beyond the security of remaining exactly as we are. We grow comfortable in the place that we have fashioned for ourselves. It takes courage to abandon our present for a future of God’s making. Abram had that trusting faith that was willing to abandon itself for a land that God would show him. His was the faith of the psalmist.
“The Lord looks on those who revere him, on those who hope in his love, to rescue them from death, to keep them alive in famine.”
The invitation of Jesus to his first disciples, ‘‘Come, follow me,’’ mirrored the call of Abram. Theirs would be a testing discipleship as their pride and petty rivalries were laid bare in the presence of Jesus. They had embraced Jesus as the path to glory, failing to understand the Cross, the only true path to glory. At the transfiguration they were given a glimpse of the glory that lay beyond the Cross. That glory would be beyond imagination and description. At its heart would be the satisfaction of our restless longing to be at peace in the presence of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“Then Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘Lord, it is wonderful to be here.’”
Let us pray that we might welcome Lent as our sharing of Christ’s journey into the glory of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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