Second Sunday of Lent
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
The Old Testament reading and the Gospel provide two examples of God speaking in plain words that God’s listeners can understand. In Genesis, Abram hears God tell him to leave his family’s land. God makes majestic declarations about Abram’s future and promises to lead him to a new home. Without comment, Abram picks up and goes “as the LORD directed him.” God speaks; Abram listens and obeys. In the Gospel, God’s voice booms from a shining cloud: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Peter, James, and John hear God’s words loud and clear, and the experience overwhelms them.
But how often do we hear God’s voice so distinctly? While we admire the religious experiences of Abram and of Jesus’ disciples, we might be tempted to think that they have it easy. We imagine that we too would obey God’s direct orders, if only we could hear them as unmistakably as Abram did. We suspect it would be irresistible to live as modern disciples if glowing clouds hovered above our heads and revealed divine truths. Saint Paul’s Letter to Timothy proposes another way.
THIS IS HOW I LOVE YOU
Saint Paul reminds us that God has “saved us and called us to a holy life.” God never forgets about us, but knew before the creation of the world exactly when, where, and how we would live out our faith. God’s wondrous plan includes visions and voices for some. For the rest of us, we rely on the Word of God and its witnesses who testify that Jesus truly lived on earth among us and sacrificed his life for our salvation. Jesus and his Church are all the revelation we need. We draw close to him in word and sacrament, in prayer, in service to others, and in countless acts of sacrifice each day this Lent. We ask the Lord to help us trust, with all our hearts, that God will always provide exactly what we need. If we are faithful to our prayer this Lent, God will speak to us—even if not through a cloud.
Today’s Readings: Gn 12:1–4a; Ps 33:4–5, 18–20, 22; 2 Tim 1:8b–10; Mt 17:1–9