We currently live in a society that preaches, "Yolo" (you only live once.) I don't know where to begin with the amount of things wrong with this 'slogan.' Mainly, the idea of yolo, is to to whatever you want to, to live the way you want to live, and to reject things that restrict you from living your one life. Sounds pleasant right? Indeed it does, but the problem is that their is no place for God in this kind of life style. Now the society we live in (in the west) is a secular society, one sadly without God. Our current society tells us to be free, and not be constrained by rules, because rules are an obstacle to living the way you want to.
Every Second week of Lent, the church celebrates the transfiguration of Christ. This reading from the Gospel, is one of the more consistent throughout the three synoptic Gospel writers. This weekend is another day when Christ is identified by God, and made know to the people Jesus is transformed into his true divine self with Moses and with Elijah by his sides. Moses is with him because he signifies the law and Jesus is the fulfilment of the law. Elijah is present with Jesus because he signifies the prophets teachings that are fulfilled in Jesus. The Jewish people also believed that Elijah would return before the Messiah. Todays Gospel is a foreshadowing of the fullness that Christ will experience when he resurrects from the dead.
While on earth, Jesus had a mission. A mission to spread love, compassion, and a new world order. He came to establish on earth the kingdom of God and to fulfil the saving action (dying on the cross) that would save us from our sins. God loved us so much that he gave his only Son. His only son that knew no sin, but took on our sin so that we might be free. God gave his Son to be the ultimate sacrifice required. God held nothing back; he promised for centuries his son to save the world, and he never took it back.
In today's first reading, Abraham is being called and tested by God. All his life Abraham had wanted a Son with Sarah, but as it were, Sarah was barren and never had a child. But at the same time, God is promising Abraham that he will have an uncountable amount of descendants. Todays Gospel, is now God calling Abraham to give up his only son that was given to him. God is testing Abraham and his faith and obedience to himself. Abraham follows through, and prepares everything to sacrifice his son, because the Lord asked of it.
Lent is a time for us to go through a time of transformation, reflection and tests. It is a time when we learn to become obedient to God, and learn to follow him. Lent is a counter cultural time. In fact, the whole church is, and thats a good thing. The churchs' goal is to bring us ( the children of God) back into communion with God. It is her mission to gather the scattered sheep of the ultimate Shepherd. Like with any pastured, their is rules, where we can eat, and where we cannot eat the grass. The church, lead by Jesus, is always guiding us to more green grass.
Like Abraham, we are challenged to hear and faithfully full fill the will of God. In our materialistic society, this can be very hard and can almost seem impossible. But during lent, we are challenged to hear Christ's voice calling us and to faithfully answer him. As Christs faithful, we must be open to what God is calling to us, even if it is not what we originally though. We must be open to hearing Gods call, even if it doesn't make sense to us. We must be open to answering Gods call, even if it counter cultural.
In todays Gospel, God speaks to those present on the mountain, " This is my Son, the beloved, listen to him." Lent is a time of careful listening for Gods voice and where he is calling us in our lives. Like Abraham, we are challenged to be obedient to God, even if it means sacrificing our only son. With the help of the Holy Spirit may we come to become transformed this lent, and to see the fullness of Christs divinity.