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Second Sunday of Lent

March 4, 2012

Blessed little Easter!

O God, who have commanded us
to listen to Your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by Your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold Your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer from today’s Mass)

Readings:
Genesis 22: 1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18 (Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac)
Psalm 116: 10, 15-19 “I will walk before the Lord, in the land of the living”
Romans 8:31-34 (God is for us. Who can be against us?)
Mark 9:2-10 (the transfiguration)

My God, what have I done?!

Rarely do we start there.

We start on the mountain with Abraham,
gaping with horror as he lifts the knife to slaughter his beloved son,
at God’s command,
his fatherly heart rent asunder.

God! God! How could You?!

Maybe in our own lives it’s a natural disaster, a tragic accident,
or violent victimization at the hands of another.

God! How could You let this happen?!
How could You do this to me?!

With profound, compassionate sorrow,
God gazes deeply into our pain-filled eyes,
takes our hand and gestures forward.

On another mountain, Jesus stands, transfigured,
brilliant as the sun,
the Father’s voice proclaiming from the bright cloud:

This is My beloved Son.
Listen to Him
-Mark 9:6

Father. Beloved Son.

Moses and Elijah point back to the mount of sacrifice.
Haunted by Abraham’s awful trial,
this same Son, Beloved,
having carried the wood of the sacrifice on His bloodied back,
is thrown upon the wood, pierced and hung to die.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities:
upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole,
and with His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.
-Isaiah 53:5-6

We chose death.

through one man sin entered the world and with sin death,
death thus coming to all men inasmuch as all sinned
-Romans 5:12

It is we who demand of God,
God, take Your only Son, Your Beloved, and slaughter Him for me.
I’d rather sin.

No angel cries to stay the upraised hand.
The hammer falls…on God’s beloved Son,
His agonizing frame raining great red streams of love
as God’s tortured heart shudders with the earth.

My God! What have I done?!

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
-I John 3:1

It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us:
that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
-Romans 5:8

God’s words to Abraham belong upon our lips:

I now know how devoted you are…
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.
-Genesis 22:12

If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son but handed Him over for us all,
how will He not also give us everything else with Him?
-Romans 8:31-32

My God, what can I do?
How can I repay this debt of love?!
How can I lay down my life to make Your Sacred Heart better known and loved?!

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