Lent is a time of preparation through prayer and fasting and opportunities to receive God’s many graces through both ordinary and extraordinary moments. We may encounter God in the ordinariness of our everyday lives, or perhaps in the more unusual events which periodically happen for us. Both are moments of God’s presence and grace.
Remember that God is present in all things, the affirmations and the challenges, the simple and the difficult.
In today’s readings, we first find God sending Abram forth from his homeland, with the promise of many blessings. Abram places his trust in God, receives the promise that he will become the father of many nations and is given the name Abraham. He and Sarah must pack up their belongings, leave their home, and travel through the desert to a place they do not know. (Don’t you wonder about their happiness at this prospect? Remember that they are older, and probably not in the best of health.)
Timothy reminds us to trust that God’s saving grace enables us to bear all hardships through the appearance and presence of Jesus. And Peter, James and John, probably expecting a quiet afternoon of prayer, are amazed at the sight of the radiance of Jesus standing before them, and the voice of God from the cloud advising them to “Listen” to Jesus, His beloved son. (Coming down the mountain was undoubtedly more contemplative than going up.)
We are called throughout the season of Lent to listen in prayer, to find the radiance of the face of Jesus in all people, and to respect the many blessings God has given us — life, love and all of creation. We are asked to trust in the plans God has for us and follow God’s path (even if we may have another idea.) We ask for God’s merciful love, and God bestows it upon us. As the response to Psalm 33 states: “God, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”
–Sr. Maryellen Blumlein, SC
Sister Maryellen, a former elementary and high school teacher and Archive Manager for the Congregation, has also served as adjunct professor of English at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.