2nd Sunday of Lent, Year A
First Reading: Gen 12:1-4a
Psalm 32(33), 4-5, 18ff
Second reading: 2 Tim 1:8b-10
Gospel: Mt 17:1-9
Conversion: An Open Gate to Divine Blessings
On this 2nd Sunday of Lent in Year A, our meditation from the liturgical texts engages us in a journey of faith as a response to the Lord’s call.
“Abraham went away, as the Lord had asked him to do” (Gn 12,4). These are words that give us an example of a biblical character with emblematic faith: God, speaking to Abraham, asking him to leave are verbs of action that reflect the very dynamics of conversion. Conversion is a journey of faith that begins with listening to the word of God. To be converted is to set out on a journey, to “turn back”, to reorientate oneself, to leave the path of error. Conversion requires us not to remain fixed in our habits, our ambitions, and our plans for personal achievement. It is all about leaving our comfort zones and letting go of our apparent security. It is a matter of tearing ourselves away from our preconceived notions of happiness. God, in calling Abraham, promised him a bright future that goes even beyond his own person.
Every vocation is not directed exclusively towards the needs of the person called, but a call to love and serve God through others. It is a question of entering into a project greater than oneself for the good of humanity. Abraham’s departure is a step of faith called to yield fruits that go beyond his personal expectations. God asks him to trust Him so that He can fulfil him beyond his desire to have an offspring, an heir. There is no reason to be reluctant to convert, for what we gain by responding to God’s call is far greater than what we lose by staying on our personal paths and plans. It is by obeying the voice of the Lord that we can be converted and benefit from the Lord’s promises. “I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will become a blessing. I will bless those who bless you” (Gn12, 3)
It is a matter of leaving the ambition to build a ‘kingdom’ for oneself and committing oneself to the great project of the Kingdom of God. God’s plan must take precedence, for it is the promise of inclusive happiness for a dignified life. The psalmist confirms this for us: “God watches over those who fear him, who put their hope in his love, to deliver them from death, to keep them alive in the days of famine. ” (PS32) St Paul in his second letter to Timothy reminds us that God has called us to a holy vocation, not because of our own actions, but because of his own plan and grace. The divine plan has been realised in the transfigured Jesus Christ.
The gospel of the transfiguration is a kind of visualisation of the radiant glory of Christ. The transfiguration of Christ is an epiphany that those who are willing to “climb the mountain” can contemplate and savor: “Lord, it is good that we are here!” This foretaste of the beatific vision says what the divine project will us lead to. In order not to remain on the sidelines of this project, it is important to be sensitive to the divine voice that tells us again: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: listen to him” (Mt 17, 5). Let us ask for the grace of listening to Christ, the Living Word of the Father, who will guide us in our conversion during this Lenten season.
Charles SOMDA, SJ