“The sacrifice of Abraham, our Father in faith. ”
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 22: 1-2.9a.10-13.15-18)
In those days: God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only- begotten son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only-begotten son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, “By myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only-begotten son, I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies, and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 116: 10 and 15.16-17.18-19 (R. 9)
R/. I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
I trusted, even when I said,
“I am sorely afflicted.”
How precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful. R.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I,
the son of your handmaid;
you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the name of the Lord. R.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem. R.
God did not spare his own Son.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 8: 31b-34)
Brethren: If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?
The word of the Lord.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: this is my beloved Son, hear him. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
“This is my beloved Son.”
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 9:2-10)
At that time: Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Every year the Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent recounts Jesus’ Transfiguration and someone called this particular Sunday the “Sunday of the three mountains.” We have Abraham on Mount Moriah, the Redeemer Christ on Mount Calvery, and the Transfigured Christ on Mount Tabor. We are invited to climb these mountains during Lent. Mountain climbing is hard but, when we reach the top, we see things in a different way. The air is cleaner, the light is clearer, we come closer to God, and are changed by the effort. Mount Moriah calls us to serve the true God alone. Mount Calvery shows us Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life, and His saving death and Resurrection. Mount Tabor calls us to trust in the glory that awaits us. You may climb any one of these to discover that you have come closer to God and are changed deeply.