First Reading—The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith (Genesis
22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18).
Psalm—I walk before the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 116).
Second Reading—God did not spare his own Son (Romans 8:31b-34).
Gospel—This is my beloved Son (Mark 9:2-10).
The English translation of the Psalm Responses from the Lectionary for Mass © 1969,
1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights
HISTORY OF SALVATION
The first reading today continues the “history of
salvation” narrative that we hear throughout Lent
this year. Today’s story was among the best-loved
in the Jewish tradition (surely Joseph told the story
to young Jesus as he formed him in the ways of their
faith); the early fathers of the Church were very
fond of it as a means of explaining the sacrifice
of Christ on the cross. The overall tone of the first
reading, psalm, and second reading seems a little incongruous with
the dazzling Gospel, until we remember that the Transfiguration was
placed as the Gospel for this Sunday precisely to remind us of the glory
that awaits those who live faithfully and obediently to the will of God.
In the life of Jesus, it is a preview of the glory of his resurrection; for
us it is a glimpse of the destiny of those who continue, as we heard in
last week’s Gospel, to repent and believe in the Good News.
Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.
SAINTS AND SPECIAL OBSERVANCES
Sunday: Second Sunday of Lent;
Wednesday: Ss. Perpetua and Felicity
Thursday: St. John of God
Friday: St. Frances of Rome; Abstinence
READINGS FOR THE WEEK
Monday: Dn 9:4b-10; Lk 6:36-38
Tuesday: Is 1:10, 16-20; Mt 23:1-12
Wednesday: Jer 18:18-20; Mt 20:17-28
Thursday: Jer 17:5-10; Lk 16:19-31
Friday: Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a; 17b-28a; Mt 21:33-43,
Saturday: Mi 7:14-15, 18-20; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
Sunday: Ex 20:1-17 [1-3, 7-8, 12-17]; Ps 19;
1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25
Alternate readings (Year A):
Ex 17:3-7; Ps 95; Rom 5:1-2, 5-8;
Jn 4:5-42 [5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42]
“Why would God ask a father to kill his own son?” said
Michael to his parish Bible group. “Isaac was spared, but God wanted
blind obedience from Abraham!” Jim, the new member, spoke up.
“Well it hits me where I live. Isaac was the most precious thing in
Abraham’s life, and to give up that child was to give up his greatest
treasure. But a relationship with God was a greater treasure than
even his own son.” Jim paused. “The most precious thing in my life
is my wife. With no children she’s been my whole world. When she
got cancer I bargained with God to let her live. I was so grateful
she recovered that I joined the parish prayer group and signed up
as a food pantry volunteer. Just doing that made me realize how
much I wanted God and a life with God. My wife is just as dear to
me, but God has taken a hold of my life in ways I could never have
imagined—because I have finally made room for God.” Copyright ©
2011, World Library Publications. All rights reserved.
Living Stewardship Now
What matters above anything else in your life? Is it a person,
material things, your health and comfort, your career? Be absolutely
honest! Is God at the center, or off to one side? Copyright © 2011, World
Library Publications. All rights reserved.
TREASURES FROM OUR TRADITION
The basis of Abraham’s test in the first reading is the fact
that his neighbors followed a religious system that demanded human
sacrifice. In offering Isaac’s life on an altar of sacrifice, he is following
long-accustomed religious practice. Ancient people accepted this because they thought that life was an ever-renewing circle: what had
been lost would be restored in time. But here, God springs this trap
and gives Abraham, Isaac, and you and me, a future. From now on, God
will provide the sacrifice. From this point on, our lives have a direction,
a purpose, a goal.
The faithful following of Lent and its consoling, challenging
scriptures strengthens and prepares us to remember the Lord’s passion and resurrection. Today, many parishes welcome home the elect,
men and women chosen on the First Sunday of Lent for the Easter sacraments, from a celebration with the bishop. The scriptures today are
chosen with them in mind, to steady their steps, to clear their vision, to
strengthen their resolve: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
(Romans 8:31). —James Field, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.