Second Sunday of Lent – Year A

by Fr Z. Ngwenya

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First Reading: Gen 12: 1-4
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 33: 4-5, 18-20, 22
Second Reading: 2 Tim 1: 8-10
Gospel: Mt 17: 1-9

In the Christian idea of life, every person is called, receives his/her own vocation from God, and the qualities and graces to undertake it. Vocation to matrimony, to the religious life, to the priesthood; vocation to give glory to God and to serve one’s neighbour as a doctor, worker, journalist, farmer, as a parent, and as a child.

In the first reading, God calls Abram out of his land to go to the land he will indicate. Abram lived peacefully in Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. It was a culture admired by all peoples. Then God burst into that tranquil, humanly satisfying life, and called him to leave everything to implement a dream of God, something Abram neither saw nor could imagine. Abram believed, had confidence in God, and responded in freedom and greatness of spirit to the vocation God had given him. As a result, God blessed him and made him father of all believers and founder of the people of Israel.

Jesus reveals to three of his disciples, in a singular and divine experience, his vocation as the new Moses and the new Elijah. Jesus has come to this world to do the will of his Father, and to manifest to all the incredible love of God. In the transfiguration Jesus is seen by his three disciples in between Moses and Elijah, as the new legislator who will give men the one, unique commandment to love, a synthesis of all the rest, and as new prophet proclaiming the secrets of the heart of his Father. As new Moses and new Elijah he fulfils his vocation and manifests the love of the Father. The Transfiguration is a call to live as a son/daughter of the Father. We live like sons and daughters when we realise our vocation and we dedicate ourselves to the mission God has given us. The Transfiguration in the Lenten period helps us to look, understand, and mend our relationship with God. It helps us to see things through a light that does not come from this world, but from the relationship we have with Christ.

Finally, St. Paul in the second reading, reminds his disciple Timothy about the holy vocation God has given him, which must be a source of confidence in the power of God to the point of suffering for the Gospel. Timothy has received a holy vocation: to be guide to the Christian community and lead it by the way of virtue and the will of God. To carry this out, he has received the imposition of hands. It is a hard vocation, especially in times of persecution. Paul asks him not to be ashamed to witness to Jesus Christ by his word and, if necessary, by his suffering. To conduct himself in this manner, Timothy needs the certainty that his vocation is not his own choice, but a grace from God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, it is very important that all of us, Christians, know and are convinced of having received a vocation, of having been called into life for a mission; whether large or small is unimportant. A vocation should infuse excitement and enthusiasm into our daily lives. We do not have to let things just happen, but we need to live our vocations consciously and joyfully, with the hope of constructing, along with other Christians, a better world.