Second Sunday of Lent (B)
A voice has several characteristics depending on the criteria. A voice can be audible, like spoken words and other vocal expressions; or it can be inaudible, like the voice of the unborn, the dying, the needy and the uncomplaining. According to purpose (and according to the spelling, as I recall from a book):
a) a voice has a vision that a person may achieve;
b) a voice is an opportunity to express oneself or creates an opportunity for others to be or to do something;
c) a voice expresses an insight on something;
d) a voice calls to action or seeks commitment to do something;
e) A voice has expectation or brings out expectation from others to achieve or see things happen.
A voice without one or more or all of these characteristics comes from a non-thinking person or from a disoriented mind. Have you wasted much of your voice? Whose voice do you constantly listen to?
The world brings out the following voices:
a) The voice of the proud self. You are the ultimate power in life. You are the center of the universe and the future depends on you. You are first, and God comes next, that is, if you do not eliminate God in your life.
b) The voice of wealth, security and contentment. Whatever you do or have should make you secure and content now and in the future. Let others take care of themselves. If you don’t accumulate wealth today and work for your security, you and your family will suffer in the future, especially in old age.
c) The voice of technology, power, fame. The more you know the more powerful you are; the more you have power the more famous you are; the more famous you are the higher you stand on your pedestal.
Our Liturgy today brings us the following voices and tries to transfigure us:
a) The voice of conscience and of faith. God is the center of our life, and our neighbor is the reference of our faith. We are an instrument for the good of the world. We need a formed conscience so that our faith will have meaning and effect in us and in others, for “faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (Ja 2:17).
b) The voice of the needy and of hope. As the center of the universe is our neighbor, at the end of time, God will only ask what we did or what we did not do to our neighbors (Mt 25:40 & 45). Our neighbor and our relationship with him are our hope for eternal life.
c) The voice of relationships and of love. A fulfilled life depends on loving relationships. Technology alone cannot save because it crashes; power alone cannot save because it corrupts; fame alone cannot save because it fades. St. Peter tells us:
be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing (1Pt 3:8-9).
Only in a relationship where God is present and adored, can we be saved, because He is the source and direction of our life.
After having received a son in old age, Abraham would have to kill and offer his only son. Abraham would not only have lost a son, and according to the law, he would also have to leave all his property to his servant. Had God allowed Abraham to kill and offer Isaac, his son, God would have aborted His promise that Abraham would have children as many as the stars in the sky. But Abraham was faithful and obedient to God, whom he knew was a faithful and loving God; and Abraham was greatly blessed.
The season of Lent invites us to listen to Him more at all times. Let the Eucharist transfigure us into the life of Jesus, the Beloved of the Father, as we seek Him in the Scriptures, in our relationships, in creation, in the needy and in our formed conscience. Let the loving VOICE of our Good Shepherd lead us to the Father now and through eternity, as we hear His words resounding in our lives:
This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him (Mk 9:7).