By Sister Kathy Braun
Abram went as the Lord directed him. (Gn.12:4a)
Going forth in faith, Abram left the security and familiarity of the land of his kinsfolk to a land he did not know. He walked into the unknown because that is what the Lord asked of him. He did not need to know just exactly how this would all come to be and play out. He believed in the Lord and that was enough. In this example of faith, Abram is a blessing. The Lord who called forth and directed him would be with him on this journey of faith.
As we journey with the Lord this holy season of Lent, we go forth in faith not knowing what the future holds; we go as the Lord directs us. Our prayer, fasting and almsgiving can be a blessing to ourselves and those we meet along the way. Through these 40 days, and indeed through our entire lives, we may not always have the clarity we seek and desire, but we always have faith and this is enough.
Am I willing to be led as Abram was? Do I trust the Lord enough? Am I open to the blessings awaiting me?
In the Gospel for this second Sunday of Lent, Peter, James and John are led up a high mountain by Jesus. He was transfigured and they saw his glory. It was a high point not only geographically, but spiritually and emotionally. Peter wanted this experience to remain. All of us in following Jesus desire those “mountaintop moments” of revelation, insight and enlightenment. In the midst of this vision, Peter, James and John hear the revealing voice that says, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased: listen to him” (Mt 17:5). They become afraid. Jesus reassures them, “Rise and do not be afraid.” (Mt 17.7)
We know this Jesus who led them up the mountain also led them down. We, too, must be content to seek not only the glory of God’s son but follow him on the path that leads to Calvary — the way of the cross. This is what we are called to do this Lent for we believe that this ultimately leads to glory — to resurrection. Am I willing to listen to Jesus? Am I able to seek Jesus in the difficulties of life — the times I feel I am in the depths? Am I willing to let go of my fears?
(Sister Kathy Braun, SSND, is pastoral associate at Ss. John & Paul Parish in Burlington and Ss. Mary & Patrick Parish in West Burlington.)