Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent… February 25, 2018 by Juanita Harding, Notre Dame Associate
A reading from the book of Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Today’s reading is a lesson of unconditional love, dedication, and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice.
God is putting Abraham to the ultimate test. He calls to Abraham, and Abraham answers, “Here I am”. Then God said, “Take your son Isaac, your only son, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust”.
Abraham did as God asked. He built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. The Lord sent a messenger who told Abraham not to harm the boy, and that he now knew how devoted he was to God. Abraham loved God so much he was willing to sacrifice his only son.
God did sacrifice His only Son for us! He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us because He loves us unconditionally! Do we love God as Abraham did? Do we answer, “Here I am”, when He calls to us?
This Lent, let us make a conscious effort to truly listen for the voice of God. What is He asking of us?
Again we enter into the season of Lent with the reminder of our continued engagement of conversion in Christ. Again we hear the traditional call to fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
Today’s gospel focuses on fasting (meaning to abstain or restrain from something).
I suggest that we move away from our limited and concrete ideas of no meat, smaller meals, no candy. Let’s take fasting seriously. Let’s expand and widen our fasting as suggested in one or several of the following:
Fast from worry Fast from complaining Fast from negatives
Feast on divine order Feast on appreciation Feast on affirmatives
Fast from unrelenting pressures Fast from hostility Fast from bitterness
Feast on unceasing prayer Feast on non-resistance Feast on forgiveness
Fast from self-concern Fast from personal anxiety Fast from facts that depress
Feast on compassion for others Feast on eternal truth Feast on truths that uplift
Fast from thoughts that weaken Fast from idle gossip Fast from worry
Feast on promises that inspire Feast on purposeful silence Feast on inner peace.
by Sister Dorothy Rolf, ND
In Sunday’s Gospel, Mark 1:4, a leper came to Jesus and begged, “If you wish you can make me clean.” Jesus said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” This seems to be the appropriate spirit for entering the season of Lent. Each Lent provides us opportunities to be made clean and healed. But often we ask how?
In the Book of Joel 2:12, we get the answer: “Even now says the Lord, “return to me with your whole heart, rend your heart not your garments.” And we ask “how”? Jesus gives us the answer (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) pray, fast and give alms.
Jesus recommends “prayer in secret, fasting (deny self) to train our wills to do the will of God, and give alms by reaching out to those in need. In doing this we rend our heart in letting go of the negative, the judgments, the pride, the selfishness, whatever it is gets in the way of loving God and our neighbor.
In opening our hearts to God and others, surprisingly, we will be healed.
During Lent daily take some times to PAUSE throughout your day to get in touch with yourself and God. Pauses work wonders! So pause to do the following:
by Dot Connealy, Notre Dame Associate
Job 7:1-4 Psalm 147:1-6 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 Mark 1:29-39
Arising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
Early on this day
To see your light and your word
Is all that I seek.
I offer this simple poem about how I feel upon awaking and knowing that God is always there waiting for me to take a moment out of my day to sit and listen, to pray and share to be open and be opened by the one who loves us always.
Thanks be to you God! You are my morning light and joy.