SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
READ: GN 12:1-4
The LORD said to Abram: "Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.
"I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you."
Abram went as the LORD directed him.
In his first homily as Pope, Benedict the XVI summed up the challenge and the promise of Lent, and the whole of Catholic life, “The ways of the Lord are not easy, but we were not created for an easy life, but for great things, for goodness.” This quote also summarizes our reading for today.
At the beginning Abram is called by God to give up his easy life. To leave behind his family, and the familiarity of his home for an ambiguous, "new land". At the end he accepts the call, not because he had a detailed itinerary, or some sort of divine google maps. But because of His faith in the great God who promised him great things (see Hebrews 11: 8-12). Looking back, today we know that those promises have come true. Even better, we know that, "If we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29). God wants to make us great in faith, to be our protector against sin and death, and to make us a blessing for others in showing His Love.
Something to always remember: the greatness the Lord we have been made for is not of this world. It's not popularity, power, pleasure, wealth, or comfort. Instead, we have been made to encounter the great things of God Himself. His holiness, His goodness, His Love for us, His mercy, His peace, His plan and purpose, His power to transform our lives. When we meet Jesus in faith, like Abram, we become truly blessed, and can be a blessing to others. We can be great in giving of ourselves, and good to both our friends and our enemies.
This Lent, to come closer to God, we are going to have to go on an uncomfortable journey, and leave behind an easy faith; however, He promises us that the pain is only temporary. At the end of our journey He will be waiting for us, and we we will discover what we truly have been created for: the lasting greatness, goodness, and joy of His love.
What is God calling you to leave behind this lent? What do you think God is promising you as a result?
How does this passage help you to understand God's intentions/plan for your life?
Take some time with your family or friends, and talk about how you can work together to be more courageous like Abram, in faith.
RESPOND: PS 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us who have put our hope in you. R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
How are you going to apply what you've prayed about today to your life?