On this second Sunday of Lent, I would like us to take time to reflect on our understanding of the extent of God’s love for humanity. The gospel reading tells us the event of the transfiguration. Let us stop on the assertion: “from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son.’”
A beloved son is the most cherished and the heir of the household. As true as this can be, it is the father’s willingness to sacrifice the beloved son that surpasses human understanding. From the human side, it is extremely hard for a father to sacrifice a son, even if he is not his beloved one. How than can one imagine a father sacrificing his beloved son? Here is where things get special and extremely appealing to us in today’s celebration. Saint Paul tells us that God “did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all.” This reveals to us the extend of God’s love for us. Simply put, God puts His own Son and you and me on a balance, and His love for us weights heavier than the one for his beloved Son that he chooses you and me and He does not spare his Son. Literally, He sacrifices his Son for you and me, out of love. Sacrificing an obedient Son for the sake of a disobedient one! Can this be even imaginable? Yet this is what God literally and truly does for you and me. Our minds can thus be open to understand what Saint Paul means when he says, “nothing will separate us from the love of God manifested in His Son.” And that is true: nothing!
So, now brothers and sisters, what can be that challenging and overwhelming to us, and that could even lead us to doubt about God’s love for us? On this second Sunday of Lent, we are invited to open our hearts and our eyes to see and to embrace God’s love for us. This, we do it by listening to the beloved Son. He shows us the way, for He is himself the Way. Through humble and obedient life, carefully and deeply listening to God, we can rediscover and experience God’s endless and unconditional love for us. Joyfully and willingly undertaking this journey with the beloved Son is a way to listen to Him and to experience closeness with God. It is exactly that closeness and the joy that comes therefrom which made Peter say, “it is good that we are here!”
However, Jesus reminds the disciples that closeness with him should lead them to bearing witness. So, He invites them to go down from the mountain. This is exactly what we celebrate as we gather here. We listen to Christ, He feeds us; it is so peaceful and amazingly good that we are tempted to stay here. He makes us forget about our worries, fears, and everything else that bothers us, and we may want to stay here. Yet he tells us to go down to bear witness. This is the very meaning of the last words we hear at the end of our celebration: “The Mass is ended. Go is peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” As we are commissioned by the beloved Son, let us take with us the joy He shared with to the rest of the world.
Let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family as we strive to listen to God’s beloved Son and embark on the journey of missionary discipleship.