Faith Amidst Trials

Minute Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent (B)

Part of being a Christian means enduring suffering with patience. But that can be really difficult when you are in the midst of it.

Our readings for the Second Sunday of Lent show what it means to trust God even – and especially – when we can’t see a purpose for the trials we’re faced with. We’re told the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is asked to sacrifice his only son Isaac, and even though he doesn’t want to, he trusts God and so takes Isaac to the top of Mount Moriah, binds him to alter and has the knife raised to strike when an angel stops him.

We tend to think this story is about Abraham’s faith, but consider this detail: Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice up the mountain. Why? Because Abraham was over 100 years old. Isaac was a strong young man. That means Isaac could have stopped his father at any time but he didn’t. He trusted his father.

Abraham told Isaac afterward that God himself would provide the sacrifice. You know, Mount Moriah, where this took place, is the same hill that would later be known as Calvary, that mountain where another Son willingly endured suffering because he trusted his Father.

The Gospel this Sunday recounts the Transfiguration, when Jesus gives Peter, James and John a vision of the Resurrection to prepare them for his Passion and Death. We might not be able to see the Resurrection that God has in mind for us beyond our individual trials. But if we endure them in union with Christ who himself knows what it means to suffer, we can have faith that we will be united with him in the glory of the Resurrection.