Second Sunday of Lent
February 28, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 / Ps 116 / Rom 8:31b-34 / Mk 9:2-10
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
One of Chevrolet’s cars is named after the second fastest land animal in the world, the impala, which can run up to fifty-six miles per hour. It can also jump to a height of over ten feet and across a distance of thirty feet. And yet, an interesting fact about this magnificent animal is that it can be kept in a zoo with only a three-foot wall. How can this happen?
The reason is that these animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land. As we know, many people also play it safe, like the impalas.
In today’s first reading we heard the story of a man who jumped into the unknown by following God’s commands without knowing how it would end. Abraham trusted God even if God’s request didn’t make any sense. How could a good and loving God ask him to sacrifice his only son, when his wife Sarah was too old to have another child? But Abraham made a leap of faith. He didn’t know God’s plan, but he obeyed, and because of his faith he became the father of all nations.
The Lord Jesus, in inviting His disciples to follow Him, explained to them the demands of discipleship. They had to take up their crosses. In the gospel that we have just heard, the Lord gave His disciples, Peter, James, and John, a pretty strong reason why they should stick with Him – in spite of the sacrifices it entailed – by giving them the privilege to see His glorified body during His Transfiguration. This experience must have given them strength, when they eventually saw the Lord crucified and die on the cross.
Each and every one of us, if we take a closer look at our faith journey, must also have witnessed the spiritual equivalent of Our Lord’s Transfiguration. That is why, in spite of the many reasons we could possibly have to abandon our faith, we are all still here, at this very moment, with all the members of God’s family in Holy Name of Mary celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sometime in the past, directly or indirectly, with the eyes of our faith, we must have seen and experienced God’s presence in our lives in a special way.
In this day and age, we still experience a version of Our Lord’s Transfiguration in the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist. Our Holy Mother Church has been blessed by an extraordinary teenager who compiled all the church-approved miracles of the Eucharist all over the world. His name is Blessed Carlo Acutis, and he was just beatified in the Vatican a little more than four months ago.
Just as the Transfiguration of Our Lord made it easier for His disciples believe in Jesus as the Messiah, these miracles are gifts from the Lord God to make it easier for us to believe in His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Every time we attend Mass or pray anywhere, like St Peter, we can also say, “Lord how good it is for us to be here.” Constant prayer will give us the strength to take a leap of faith, follow God’s commands, and jump into the unknown.