February 25, 2018
by Amy Hoover
Creighton University's Retreat Center
click here for photo and information about the writer

Second Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 26

Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
Romans 8:31b-34
Mark 9:2-10

Praying Lent
Lent Prayer for Today

The Second Week of Lent - 41 min. - Text Transcript

Doing Lent As A Family

As I reflected on today’s readings, the stories commonly known as the Testing of Abraham and from the Gospel of Mark the Transfiguration of Jesus, I was very curious about what would surface and what I could possibly have to share about these well know scriptures.  As tends to happen, I was surprised.

First I reflected how Abraham’s story has been a troubling story for prayer recently for some on retreat.  People question how God could put Isaac through that, let alone Abraham and does God really test us?  Sometimes the conversation comes around to me asking “What if God isn’t testing Abraham because God needs to know of his devotion but because Abraham needs to understand how devoted he (Abraham) is to God?”  Could it be the testing was for Abraham?

Then I reflected on the Transfiguration and a similar idea occurred to me.  Sure, Jesus’ transfiguration was witnessed by the disciples but I wonder if Jesus somehow “needed” this validation, the affirmation from from God to bolster his courage for what was to come?  Some may think this idea is crazy, I don’t know.  But if Jesus was fully human, could he not have had doubts and questions along the way?  I think so.  How wonderful of the Father to reach out and affirm him.

Next, I was reminded how important it is for us to share our faith stories with one another.  I often tell participants on a group retreat that sometimes we need to share our stories for ourselves.  We need to hear ourselves and we need others to validate our experiences of God.  Other times though, others may need to hear our experiences to see God from a different perspective or catch a different image of God.  What a gift it is to share our experiences and images of who God is.  It can only help in our understanding of the mystery that is the Divine.  Suddenly my reflection was about the invitation and grace of seeing different perspectives.

Lastly, I realized that this idea of sharing stories was in contradiction to the scripture when Jesus “charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone. . . .”  That caught my attention and I started to pause until I read on “. . . . except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”  There is an implication here that the Resurrection would give/does give meaning to the stories.  The Resurrection would add to the depth and understanding of the stories.  I think that was true then, and it is true now.  So my questions for reflection today are: 

When have we found fruit in sharing our stories with another or listening to the stories on another? 

How does the Resurrection give meaning or invite a different perspective to our life stories?

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