Second Sunday in Lent - Year B
SACRIFICE YOUR SON
Before Social Security and pension plans, most people depended upon their children for survival in old age. A couple without heirs faced a bleak future. This had been the situation for Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Hence the birth of their son, Isaac, was a double blessing. Suddenly the divine favor was tested when God demanded that the patriarch make a sacrifice of the boy. It was a strange trial of faith. Of course, God already knew that it was only temporary and that a substitute holocaust would be provided.
The true meaning of the event only becomes evident when we realize that no one would stop God the Father from sacrificing his Son, Jesus. The location--Moriah--is believed to be the future location of the temple; and by extension, Calvary.
When the Son of God became a human being, he concealed his divine glory. No human would have come close to him otherwise. Only once did Jesus let a glimpse of his true nature slip through. This was on the mount of the Transfiguration. He had carefully prepared a select group of his apostles for this revelation. They were overwhelmed by the experience, but poor, blustering Peter manages a dumb-founded response. Seeing and somehow recognizing two ancient visitors--Moses and Elijah--in conversation with Christ, he blurts out a wish that it continue. He offers to build three temporary lean-to's, like those used on the Feast of Tabernacles. This will prolong the idealistic event and the joy of the occasion.
It is interesting to note that almost 2000 years later, a spiritual heir of Peter--Pope Paul VI--would dedicate a church on what is believed to be the site of the Transfiguration. It has three sections and three chapels honoring Jesus and the two prophets.
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