St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

2nd Sunday of Lent B21

Road trip! Whenever I hear those two words, excitement and anticipation build within me.

Isaac must have felt the same way. He’s going on a three day road trip with his dad, just the two of them, to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. What could possibly go wrong? We don’t know how old Isaac was at that time but I imagine him to be about 7 or 8 with all the youthful exuberance of that age. As they got closer to the place of sacrifice, it finally dawned on Isaac that they had the wood and the fire but no sheep for the holocaust. And so, he asked his father. Abraham must have struggled with his emotions as he struggled to come up with an answer. The best he could do was saying that God would provide. Abraham is being put to the test.[1] And that is the focal point of the story, not the presumptive of the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham passed the test, showing he was obedient to God and trusting that God would in some way be true to God’s promise that his own offspring shall be his heir and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.

There are many parallels in the testing of Abraham and the life and Passion of Jesus:

  • Abraham is asked to sacrifice his only son who he loves; God the Father allows His only beloved Son to be a sacrifice.
  • Isaac carries the wood for the sacrifice; Jesus carries the wood of the Cross for his sacrifice.
  • Abraham sacrifices a ram in place of his son; Jesus is sacrificed as the Lamb of God.
  • Abraham was obedient to God; Jesus was obedient to His Father.
  • While Abraham rejoices in the preservation of his son, God the Father grants his Son to be transfigured in the sight of his chosen disciples, permitting them to see the future glory His Son will have which he has from the beginning. The disciples are overshadowed by a cloud from which a voice came, saying: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”[2]

I hear more than a command. It’s also a heartfelt plea that we should more than hear. To listen is to be an active participant, engaged, thinking about what the words not only express but what they mean. Listen! Listen with your heart and soul, not just hear with your ears.

Jesus’ words are a road trip for us to discover something new and precious every time we read or hear them.

LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! 

 

[1] The readers or hearers are aware that God is testing Abraham that the testing will probably have a different result than what he expects.

[2] Mark 9:7

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