We pray especially for the work of our Parish Project, The Patrick Wild Centre.
Act of Worship
Thank you to Martin le Poidevin for continuing to share your musical talents with us all.
Act of Worship for the 2nd Sunday on Lent.
Thank you Deacon Vincent for sharing your Reflections for 2nd Sunday in Lent.
1st Reading from the Book of Genesis 22: 1-2, 9-13, 15-18.
It is worth reading the whole episode of this very traumatic story from Abraham’s life with God. Human sacrifice was very common amongst cultures at this time, but it still shocks us that God should put Abraham to such a test as to offer his only son, Isaac, as a human sacrifice to God. We, as Christians interpret this as God illustrating just what an awful sacrifice God will make to redeem us from slavery to sin and evil. God stays Abraham’s hand at the last moment and his reward is that Isaac will become the means of fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham, that he would be the father of a great number of people, impossible to count, who would serve God, and become his chosen people. Through our baptism by water and the Holy Spirit, we become spiritual brothers and sisters of this chosen people, and so share in the one true God’s covenant, the gift of life eternal. It is an exciting story with so many references to the death and resurrection of Jesus; it is almost a prophecy of God’s own sacrifice of his only son Jesus Christ. If you read the whole story you will find that it is on the third day that Abraham finds the mountain upon which he is to offer Isaac. He looks up and you will find in Mark’s gospel how the women look up when they come to the tomb on the third day. Abraham looks up and sees a ram caught in the brambles and offers this instead of Isaac. God will also find a male “Lamb of God”, who will be offered for our redemption. A good way of viewing this story is the way that God moves his people away from the idea of human sacrifice as an offering to this God. He is the only one who will make that sacrifice for us. We will feed on the benefits of his once only sacrifice for the salvation of us all. But this story just shows us how much God really loves us, right from the beginning of our relationship with him. It is the obedience of Abraham, as opposed to the disobedience of Adam, that gains Abraham’s great blessing of being the father of many nations, and it is Jesus’ obedience that earns a mighty number of people, impossible to count to offer worship to God his Father. We should ponder this story and delve into its depths during this coming week.
Psalm 115: 10, 15-19.
This psalm continues with the thanks we owe to God for his love and care for us and his tolerance of our shortcomings.
2nd Reading from St. Paul to the Romans 8:31-34.
Paul echoes the theme of thanksgiving that we owe to God for the great sacrifice of his only son for our redemption. It is following the story of Abraham, whereby God will sacrifice his only son, the beloved for our redemption. Indeed, we should never cease to wonder at God’s love for us in making such a huge sacrifice for us. Always be thankful for our Baptism into this wonderful family.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 9: 2-10.
In this passage, Mark relates how Jesus takes his special friends up a mountain, so we know something special is about to take place and we are given this amazing picture of Jesus transfiguration, and they see Jesus in his glory, talking with the great Lawgiver, Moses and the great Prophet Elijah, the fore-runner of all the prophets. They are discussing the great sacrifice he will make when he comes to Jerusalem. It is a reminder for those whom Jesus will rely upon to hold his disciples together at the crucifixion and rebuild them after the resurrection. This was to let them see Jesus in his glory, and the confirmation of His Father “This is my Son, the beloved. Listen to him.” It is also a timely reminder for us to realise that Jesus is God’s beloved Son, and for us to LISTEN to him. In these trying times, we need to realise that Jesus has not abandoned us, we need to reflect upon who he truly is, as also to remember that he has redeemed us. Whatever the world throws at us we are required to stand firm and trust in Jesus’ great redeeming sacrifice.
God Bless you All.