Second Sunday of Lent (March 12, 2017)

Like Abraham in today’s first reading, we are on a journey. The circumstances of our lives are always changing. As we get older, we find that we can’t do things they way we used to, so we learn to do things differently.

Change isn’t always easy; so, if we’re smart, we learn to be flexible. This is true in our spiritual lives also. We must learn to be more sensitive to the many ways the Lord is working in us and through us.

Lent is a time for developing this deeper sensitivity to God’s presence and love. St. Paul reminds us that there are a few things that never change. They become the sure foundation for our Christian living:

  • God has saved us in Jesus, who has robbed death of its power and has brought us life and immortality.

  • Salvation is a grace - a gift of God. We have done nothing and can do nothing to merit it. The gift is ours because God loves us with great compassion.

  • We are called to live a holy life, bearing our share of the hardship which living and sharing the gospel entails.

Like Peter, James and John, we have heard and believed the voice from the clouds: “Jesus is my beloved Son on whom my favor rests. Listen to him.” Listening to Jesus is a vital part of our living a holy life. Our willingness to take the time to listen to Jesus is the primary way that we grow in our sensitivity to God’s working in us. Our listening can take many forms:

  • Personal prayer

  • Meditating on the life and passion of Jesus

  • Spiritual reading

  • Attentiveness to the needs of the people around us.

Lent is a graced time for moments of listening. What we will hear will point out the direction our journey with the Lord will take. None of us will probably hear a voice from the clouds, as the disciples did. God will speak to us in less obvious ways, but he will speak. He speaks in every event of our lives, in every person who crosses our path. As we grow in greater sensitivity to his presence in everything and everyone around us, we will more easily understand what he is telling us about ourselves and what he wants us to say and do each day. Our daily journey becomes an ever-growing dialogue with our God who loves us and calls us to be one with him.

These days of Lent are graced. Let’s be sure we take the time to accept the graces God has prepared for us and grow in our baptismal commitment.

Rev. Michael S. Murray, OSFS, is the Executive Director of the De Sales Spirituality Center.