Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
March 8 A.D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Lent is a time for special encounters with God in prayer.
It's a time for new insights into what God wants of us on our journey this year. In Lent, we should be asking, "What do you want of me that I haven't given you? How much of myself should I offer to you?"
Thousands of years ago, Abraham found the answer to those questions in a way he could never forget! God told him to take his son, Isaac, the "child of promise," and travel to the land of Moriah, up a mountain there, where he was to offer Isaac in sacrifice! This request must have devastated Abraham in heart and mind. Abraham must have felt that God had tricked him years ago when he and Sarah were promised that their descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed God to the point of raising his knife to kill his son. How was he to know that this was only a test? An angel stopped his arm, and God, now satisfied, renewed the covenant He had made. And Abraham then knew that if he was to please God, he must offer Him absolutely everything of himself, of his dearest possessions, and his every hope of future joy.
In prayer, today, as we ask God how much He wants of us, we can hear Him say, "I want your whole life. Trust me, and I will give you all of Myself!"
Another great encounter with God is offered us this Sunday in the Gospel. It was offered to Peter, James, and John also on a mountain, Mt. Tabor, which rises almost two thousand feet about the level land of Lower Galilee. Tired from the climb, the three disciples wakened from a snooze, only to find Jesus who had been praying, suddenly radiant before them, talking with two men. They recognized these strangers as Moses and Elijah, Moses representing the Law, and Elijah representing the prophets who called kings and commoners to follow their consciences and do the "right thing."
As Jesus talked with them, He was radiant with glory. He was glowing even more with the Father's love as the thunderous words rang out, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!"
There is the key for our Lenten observance: listening to God!
God demanded total surrender from Abraham, although He spared Isaac. He did not spare His only Son, Jesus, but as the second reading says, He gave Him up for us and for our salvation. God's extreme love for us is seen when St. Paul says, "How will He not also give us everything else along with Him?"
May our prayer this week be one of total surrender, total love, and trust that God will, in return, give us His Son and everything else along with Him!
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, March 8, 2009
Second Sunday of Lent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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