Second Sunday of Lent

February 25, 2024

Transformation, sacrifice, trust, and change are apparent in the first reading from Genesis for the 2nd Sunday of Lent. Abraham had to offer a great deal of trust (and when his wife heard about all the descendants, what did she think, as she was childless?) But his trusting is not without question. So he asked for proof as a reward for his trust. “O Lord God, he asked, how am I to know that I shall possess the land?” He needed more proof that his trust was warranted.

So he saw a great pot of fire and animals cut up and put in the fire. “It was on that occasion that the Lord made a covenant with Abraham.” We should note that this sign was something he could appreciate. Covenants like the one God arranged with Abraham were strong, unbreakable. Abraham could definitely trust God’s promise.

Jesus tells us through Paul that he will transform us – change our body to conform to his. In the gospel, the apostles witness the transfiguration of Jesus. These changes, and many other wonders, occurred in scripture and occur in us. Most of the time, this is not apparent to us. When we feel God’s presence, it is momentary; yet there is transformation. When we pray for something, often it has already happened and we are not aware right away. Abraham certainly did not understand that he would indeed have descendants like stars in the sky.

I once had a student who asked why I didn’t like her. I fibbed and said I did. I prayed about this. Then I started to pretend I did like her. And shortly thereafter, I discovered I did. I noticed the other students changed toward her, too. God had answered my prayer and changed me before I even realized it.

So, like Abraham, let us trust with question. Our wanting to trust may transform into faith and perhaps we, too, will begin to count the stars in our lives. Let us follow the light from darkness into salvation. Let us be faithful in the face of difficulty.