Lent: toward deeper holiness

Sunday, March 5, 2023

READINGS: GN 12:1-4A; PS 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; 2 TIM 1:8B-10; MT 17:1-9

The readings for the second Sunday of Lent offer us the motivation needed to continue our 40-day Lenten journey toward deeper holiness.

The first reading from the book of Genesis describes God’s call to Abram (who would later be called Abraham). God instructs Abram to leave his home and set out to a land that God had chosen for him. Abram’s response is an ancient example of something we can apply to our own Christian walk. Instead of clinging to his comfortable home and way of life, Abram recognizes that all he has is a gift from God, so he puts his trust in God, and obeys. And God rewards him saying, “I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

To “be a blessing” is the true aim of our way of life as Catholic Christians. It is also an excellent way to live out the season of Lent. The sacrifices we take on, the spiritual disciplines we practice, and the extra acts of service we perform during this season — all give glory to God and transform our lives into a blessing for others.

Lest we grow weary on this path, our Gospel passage today, from Matthew, offers us a powerful image of the great God we serve. It is the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus, when our Lord reveals Himself in His true glory and the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The apostles who witnessed this were awestruck. But our loving Savior reassured them saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”

As we continue our Lenten journey, let us take these two verses, “Listen to him,” “Rise, and do not be afraid” to heart. Let us rely on God’s strength to aid us in our spiritual disciplines as we move through Lent. We will arrive at Easter with deeper holiness, as a blessing to God and to all we encounter.