As we continue our journey through Lent we are blessed with Scripture that beckons us to be faithful to God and what he asks of us as in the First Reading when we hear again the call to Abraham to sacrifice his son as an offering to God, only to be stopped just short of doing so. Can you imagine a faith in God so deep that you would make that kind of sacrifice? We have to remember the place and time in which this Reading is set, people believed that they always offered the best they had to God to show God how committed they were and how much they trusted that he was guiding their actions. To us today, the sacrifice of a child is barbaric and we know by faith that God does not ask that of anyone. Rather our children are entrusted to us to be loved, nurtured and cared for. However, this Scripture does prompt us to ask that important question about how faithful we are (or are not) to God. It is good to ponder this in our prayer. Where do you find your strength to get through life? Who assists you when you feel like you are up against something that seems insurmountable? You might depend on family members, a spouse, a friend or colleague, but even more importantly, do you call upon God?
“If God is for us, who can be against?”
St. Paul’s letter is written to the Romans who were experiencing difficult times at the hand of the political
powers of the day. He encourages his followers (and ustoday) to know that God is with us. Armed with that, there is nothing that can destroy us because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and even more because of his rising from the dead. God spared his own Son and because of it we are loved, cared for and saved. God is with us even in the most difficult times. Knowing that, accepting that gift, allows us to live with hope that we will be able to handle whatever comes our way. When we feel as though the world does not have our best interest at heart, we stand strong because of our faith in God. And then Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. Peter, James and John represent humanity as they followed Jesus up to the heights of that mountain. The transfiguration was a prelude to the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. More importantly it was meant, like the baptism of Jesus, to reveal with no uncertainty who they were following; the SON of GOD. Imagine the experience; they must have wondered what was happening, were they really seeing what they thought? Did they come away convinced like never before? And why would Jesus tell them to not share what they had seen, at least not until the Son of Man had risen from the dead? They kept their word and did not share and still they wondered; what does it mean to rise from the dead? Take time this week to reflect on these Readings. Ask questions, ponder the possibilities, put yourself in the shoes (or sandals) of the disciples. Draw closer to God by spending time with THE WORD.
In faith and with trust,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC