Second Sunday of Lent - 1st March 2015

The Journey of Faith

'With God on our side who can be against us,' insists our second reading. Really? At times every human heart queries if this is true. When we are overwhelmed by suffering, in what ever form it comes to us, we tend to become angry with God and feel that he has let us down.

And then, as it were to awaken our faith, we read today's psalm which is a prayer of thanksgiving uttered by someone who has been saved by God from a desperate, life-threatening situation. In a time of great anguish, the psalmist did not lose faith in God. In spite of everything, the sacred writ­er trusted.

Abraham had to make a similar act of faith in God in the midst of his turmoil. God had asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, whom he loved deeply. Though filled with grief and confusion, Abraham set about to obey God. His trust in God proved sound as God intervened to save Isaac.

Abraham and Jesus both learned to entrust everything into the hands of God the Father, even when this appeared to lead to the end of everything they had hoped for.

Jesus' disciples also experienced confusion and despair when Jesus was crucified. Some time before, in the episode of the Transfiguration, the Father had urged them to listen to Jesus, to trust him and believe in him, whatever happens. This advice was to prove well founded though they did go through their moments of despair when they felt all was lost.

If we are to trust in God and His love for us, then we too must learn to let go of our certainties and our insistence on having things our own way. God in Jesus would have us understand that he is with us in eve­ry moment of our lives and each moment, whether at the top of the mountain or in Gethsemane, is sacred.

When we trust in God even the worst news becomes part of the good news. Life has many loose ends, many that are hard to understand and even more difficult to endure. We may never be able to tie up these loose ends, but they will ultimately make sense because of our trust in God. It is only in eternity that we will fully understand what God was about. It is then that He will crown our trust in ways beyond our imagining.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,

on those who hope in his love.

(responsorial psalm)

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.