Second Sunday of Lent
Gift giving is not something we associate with Easter, and certainly not with Lent. But in our readings for Sunday there are a lot of gifts promised. Here’s a list of what the Lord promises to give to Abram in the first reading from Genesis…
1.Abram will be made a great nation
2.Abram will be blessed
3.His name will be made great
4.He will be a blessing
5.The Lord will bless those who bless Abram
6.The Lord will curse those who curse Abram
7.All the communities of the earth will find blessing in Abram
Those are a lot of gifts! There are more gifts given in the Responsorial Psalm, here are a few of them.
1.The Lord’s mercy
2.The kindness of the Lord fills the earth
3.Deliverance from death
4.To preserve us from famine
5.To be our help
6. To be our shield
7.The Lord’s kindness
In these readings and in our faith, we have been promised many gifts from the Lord. The Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, endless mercy in Reconciliation, the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, eternal life with the Communion of Saints in Heaven. The list is endless.
But, if we return to our readings, and look at our faith, we’ll notice we have a role to play in receiving these gifts and promises. It is a two-way street. Sometimes we need to do hard things to receive the blessings God has to offer us.
In the first reading, the Lord said to Abram “go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” And at the end of the reading, it tells us “Abram went as the Lord directed him.” That is a really big ask, to leave everything you know and trust that the Lord will provide you with land and all the blessings He promises. It was because of Abram’s yes to the Lord that he received the outpouring of gifts and blessings, it was a two-way street.
In the Responsorial Psalm we hear again, the Lord’s mercy comes upon, “as we place our trust in you.” He has so much to offer us and promise us, but it comes when we place our trust in Him the way Abram did. The Lord’s kindness and mercy is upon those who place their hope and trust, not in worldly things, but in the Lord Himself.
The first line in the Second Reading, “bear your share of the hardship of the gospel with the strength that comes from God,” reminds us that the Lord gives us all we need to do what He asks of us. God knows that bearing the gospel can be a hardship. Being confident and firm in your faith can be challenging when it is not a “cool” thing. Or if others are talking down about it, it can be a hardship to stand up for your faith. But we know that God has given us strength to bear that hardship. We know that God has many promises for us, we just need to be ready to do our part. After all, it is a two-way street.