13 March 2022 – 2nd Sunday of Lent (Year C)

By Fr Francis Anthony

Genesis 15:5-12,17-18
Psalm 26:1,-9,13-14
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 9:28-36

Theme: God’s Glory Revealed in Christ


Dear friends

Remember what Jesus said regarding fasting, alms giving and praying:-

Do not make it an external show to let the whole world know that you are fasting or you are praying or you are giving alms.

And today, the Second Sunday, the readings are focusing on our inner attitude towards these spiritual exercises which we are going through during this Lenten Season.

And the readings show us the priority of God’s love for us, His plan for us and what He is doing. It is not we who are suffering and sad and worried and trying to reach out to God. God is the initiator and He is reaching out to each of us.

In the First Reading taken from an episode of Abraham, God makes a covenant with us. It was His will that He chose Abraham. And in that sacrifice that Abraham was told to make, God himself, during that moment, has bound Himself to the people, the Jewish people then.

In the Second Reading, Saint Paul writing to the Philippians, he is very conscious of the unity that was among the people who have accepted his teaching and who are now the disciples of Christ. But an enemy had come in to distort them. But he is saying to them:-

Take courage. It is the saving action of Christ (that is his death and resurrection) is with you. He is saving you.

And Paul gives them great encouragement for the struggle they are doing to live the faith by saying to them ‘You are my joy and crown.

The same thing is being said to us today. Yes, it was not Saint Paul who preached to us but that same teaching has come down step by step to us. And indirectly, we can say Paul is among those earlier preachers and we are the joy and crown.

And in the Third Reading, the Transfiguration, many of you know these text very well, it appears in all the three Gospels, and the high point here is God showing His Son to us – ‘This is my beloved, my Son.’ And it does not stop there. And it goes a step further ‘Listen to Him.

And during this Lenten Season, we have to ask ourselves ‘Am I listening to Jesus? Am I in my own way with all my human weaknesses? None of us are Saints, we are making our journey towards sainthood, we are struggling in our human weaknesses and Jesus himself having said ‘If you love me, take up your cross and follow.’ He did not say take up your cross and you go and mourn. No, with all your weaknesses, follow him.

And that is what is being told to us during this Lenten Season that we will be able to acknowledge that we are sinners. We will be able to acknowledge that we need God. We will be able to acknowledge that God in His own mysterious way has chosen me.

Yes, as I said so often from this pulpit – If you are here today who is responsible? Yes, there are so many people. There are many others but only a few Catholics want to say – regarding the sacraments. Very explicitly you have made that choice. Who is responsible?

It is not I chose you, Nor it is not we who chose God. In Saint John’s Gospel it says:-

You did not choose me. I, Jesus is saying, chose you. And I am giving you that spirit, the advocate, who will be with you, making plain everything I have taught you.

And this is what in the transfiguration scene God says ‘This is my son, the beloved, listen to him.’ It is by listening and transforming it into our lives, changing our way of thinking and acting, then we say ‘Yes, I am on the road of repentance. Yes, I am on the road of repentance because I am listening to the word of God and allowing that word to transform me to change me.

Let us continue to pray in this journey for those who are suffering because of this idiotic war. Please remember them. They are the innocent people who were caught in this crossfire. They did not provoke the war. They are the victims. Let us be conscious and pray with them. They are far away but we can support them through our prayers and also pray for all those people who are welcoming these refugees into their homes, taking care of them. Pray for them.

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