Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
Reflection Question: How does God know we are devoted to Him?
This weekend’s scripture passages caused me to think back on a conversation with my 13-year-old from earlier this week. All three of my daughters are students at one of our Diocesan Catholic Elementary Schools. For my eldest two daughters, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy have been a big topic of discussion in their Faith Formation classes as we lead into and entered the Season of Lent. During yet another snow day earlier this week, I found myself again working from home with all of my children at home as well. As I was commenting to my youngest child that she had not really committed to “giving up” something for Lent, my eldest daughter interjected into the conversation her opinion that our family sacrifices daily because of how we choose to live. A lengthy discussion followed her comment, however, I did know in advance what she was referring to. My oldest daughter was making the case that more sacrifice may not be needed because our family fulfills several Corporal Works of Mercy through the sacrifices we have made since, nearly six years ago, we became a licensed foster family for children who are in the care and custody of Children and Youth Services.
In pondering the words of God’s messenger as he tells Abraham “I know now how devoted you are to God,” it is obvious that our daily sacrifices might not be enough to show God that we are devoted to him. By the time we reach Abraham at this moment in Chapter 22 of the Book of Genesis, he has already surrendered to God greatly in leaving his home in Haran and wandering in search of the Promised Land, and yet Abraham was willing to pay an even greater ransom without question.
As we journey through the Season of Lent, we should ask ourselves if our sacrifices truly reveal to God how much we are devoted to Him. For this Italian mom who can cook enough food for 50 people without thinking twice, feeding an extra child or two is not a huge sacrifice. Buying one or two extra St. Patrick’s Day shirts for upcoming school events is hardly trying. A couple of extra foster children running through our home, who in time, fall into the fray of daily life is not as demanding as on some days I may make it seem. Might we consider that when a sacrifice becomes a new daily routine or practice, the question arises: Is it still a sacrifice? So the question really becomes this: Is what we “give up” during Lent actually demonstrating to God that we are devoted to Him? If so, then what do with our Lenten sacrifices when we enter the Easter Season? The rest of our lives?
What can we do for Jesus that will permanently transform us as we prepare to celebrate the glory of Easter? We can focus on Christ’s transfiguration as we journey through Lent. Just as Peter, James, and John encountered a mystery before their eyes on that mountain top, we can contemplate the Mysteries of Faith and open our hearts to the prospect of our own transformation.
My prayers are with all of you for a truly blessed Season of Lent filled with many opportunities to show God that we devote our lives to Him!
Danielle Cribbs, Director of Parish Life & Ministry and Safe Environments Coordinator, Holy Family Parish, Seward