Livonia, Michigan

Second Sunday of Lent

By the Faithful Disciple



Just two weeks ago, when Christians walked around all day with a cross of ashes on our foreheads, we may have received puzzled looks. Who bothers with fasting and almsgiving for 40 whole days? Many of us live with great abundance in this country; the only time we actually need to fast might be for lab work. With this in mind, it’s helpful to remember the why: because Christ sacrificed himself for us, and he calls his followers to participate in his redemptive mission through our own sacrifices. Without sacrifice, we simply cannot be like Christ, nor will we see our own transfiguration in the resurrection to come. So Lent is a blessed season of reorienting our lives to Christian sacrifice: that of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Perhaps this season can also dispel some of the complacency that has a tendency to creep into our lives. The poor and hungry and disenfranchised still exist, and Christ depends on us to be his hands and feet to serve them. But how can we serve them if we do not embrace Christ’s example as a living sacrifice? Ask the Lord for the grace to see and hear what he is asking us to do for him.



Today’s readings show an incredible arc from Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God to Christ’s Transfiguration after his Passion. Without Abraham’s willingness to give up that which he wanted most and finally obtained, he would not have earned his greatest blessing from God in having countless descendants; and without Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, all of mankind would not have been saved. Maybe we aren’t called to great sacrifices such as these in our own lives, but we as Christians are called to offer our lives as a living sacrifice to our family, our neighbor, those in need, and God himself. Lent is a reminder not only to help us reorient our lives to God and his call for our lives, but to live it, too. By our own witness and prayer, we have the ability to help bring others to the Lord and his promise of eternal life.



What is something you have always appreciated being done for you? What is a specific sacrifice, large or small, that you know has been made on your behalf? Make an effort this week to identify a specific need you know someone has, pray for that person/need, and offer to God a sacrifice of treasure, time or even your suffering for the fulfillment of that need.