Deacon Jerry’s Lenten Reflection: 2nd Sunday of Lent

Posted on February 20, 2024 by Published by

All three readings from this Sunday give us a greatly expanded understanding of God’s covenant with us. If you recall in last Sunday’s first reading, God covenants with Noah that God will no longer destroy the earth by a flood. The floods cleansed the earth of sin. But Noah and those on the Ark were a new start for the relationship between God and man.

Today we explore the relationship between God and Abraham. Abraham has a central role in Salvation history. In today’s reading, Abraham shows he put God first even above his love for his son Isaac. This is a difficult reading for parents to understand. God never asks us to sacrifice our children to him. Is God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? Or is God showing Abraham and Isaac, and therefore us, that faithful acceptance of God’s will is rewarded.

Throughout Scripture, child sacrifice is a deeply sinful pagan practice. Whenever the Jewish people encounter a hostile people, child sacrifice is seen as a great evil of the pagans.

Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice is a “type” that we will remember when we see Jesus, the Father’s son, who offers himself for our sin. God is not asking us to sacrifice our children. But he is willing to give so much, even his son, for us.

The Covenant in some ways is now complete. God is not asking us to sacrifice our children. Instead, he covenants to offer his son as a sacrifice for our sin, for our salvation.

How do we respond to this gift of Divine Love? A good start is to recognize that we are just stewards of our families on behalf of God. We often struggle with how to put God first in our families. Work, illness, sports, and life can distract us. If we try to faithfully follow God’s rules when our kids are young, examples of prayer and good works are relatively easy to establish. When kids become adults, those examples of faith are not always accepted. This can lead to great pain for parents. We need to accept that pain in love, never cutting off the relationship but always ready to accept your children as our Father has covenanted to accept us when we return to him.

Deacon Jerry

Readings of the Second Sunday of Lent: Lectionary 26

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