Will You Pass the Test?
Mark 9:7 – Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”  
Genesis 22:16-17, “Because you acted as you did and not withholding from me your beloved Son, I will bless you abundantly.”
Romans 8:31-32, “If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but handed him over to us all.  How will he not give us everything else along with him.”

The Liturgy of the Word, prayed at every mass of the faithful around the world is a beautiful gift the Church gives us.  It is a present bestowed on us every day.  As we hear and meditate on the Word, we carefully unwrap this gift to discover what lies beneath.  The living Word speaks to our souls.  The Old Testament reading, the second reading, and the Gospel are all connected.  A spiritual truth is revealed.  It is the ribbon that wraps the gift that is presented to us.  

On the second Sunday of Lent, this is especially the case.  In the first reading, Abraham is called to a great test of faith, “the binding of Isaac,” referred to as Abedah in the Jewish commentaries.  This passage is a preemptive for Christ’s passion.  It shows God’s love for us by sacrificing his Son as the Lord for the new covenant.  Something he spared Abraham.  

Abraham withstood the task in his willingness to give his Son, Isaac, to God.  What is really the meaning of God’s request and the reason?  It is a test to allow Abraham to ask if there is anything in his life more important than God?  What is he attached to that is keeping him from following God and doing his will?  This is something we must ask ourselves if we are to progress in the spiritual journey.  It is a question that needs to be asked continually.  

The second reading is by St. Paul and he asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us? Roman 8:31.  What more do we need?    

What does God give Abraham for his faithfulness, trust and surrender?  He promises because you acted as you did and not withhold from me your beloved Son, I will bless you abundantly.  

This leads us to the Gospel reading of the transfiguration.  The Greek word, transfiguration, means metamorphosis in English.  This transformation is the spiritual journey we are all called to.  The Father shares the divinity of his Son and tells us how we, too, can share in his divine nature by “listening to him.”  Mark 9:7.  This is the abundant blessing we, too, can receive – oneness with God through Christ.  Archbishop Louis Martinez, spiritual author and the first official primate of Mexico, puts this perfectly, “Do you wish to look at the Father?  Look at Jesus.”  

This Lent ask: what am I withholding from God?  Is it my time, talent, money?  Where do I lack faith and trust?  Am I spending time with him?  Am I listening to him?  Am I obeying his commands and His will?  Will I pass the test?  It is a test we must not fail.