BY: Fr. Christian Eze



First reading – Gen. 22:1-2.9-13.15-18 Second reading – Rom. 8:31-24  Gospel – Mk. 9:2-10

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan Friar who volunteered to die in place of Franciszek Gajowniczek who cried out “my wife, my children” when he was counted among those to die by starvation in the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, located in German occupied Poland during the World War II. Records have it that Franciszek after gaining his freedom never forgot the Saint who gave his life, nay, his all to save him. Francisczek was present both at the beatification and canonization of St Maximilian Kolbe. If the brave Saint were to have anything left to be taken care of, I suppose, Franciszek could have gone extra mile to pay back with the best he had. Yes, to whom much has been given, much is expected. And to who all has been given, even all is expected.

God gave Abraham an only son, Isaac. Isaac was a precious son who, as could be expected, deserves to be over-pampered and shielded from all harm. Knowing what Abraham went through before the birth of Isaac, Abraham could be glad to die, rather than see Isaac taken away from him. It was in this type of situation that God made a demand of Isaac as a sacrifice. And without being hesitant, Abraham was very ready for this. I wonder if he had any hope of another son after Isaac. There is no gainsaying that the driving courage for Abraham was his faithful trust that He who gave him Isaac when he had no hope, that same God knows best and would not go back on His words. Abraham was willing to respond to God’s gift.

God has given us a precious gift more precious than the gift of the son Isaac. The most precious gift we have ever received is Jesus the only Son of God. The forth gospel tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” – Jn 3:16. We can see the event of the Transfiguration which is the content of today’s gospel as a moment at which God was presenting His Son to be sacrificed for the whole world. The voice of the Father was heard saying: “this is my beloved Son…” – Mk. 9:7. We hear similar words of Christ talking about Himself; a word which the priest repeats during consecration: “…this is my body which will be given up for you… this is the chalice of my blood… that will be poured out for you…” Jesus is our all. When we were as hopeless as when Abraham had no son, God gave us hope. And when Satan sought to sniff life out of us as when Franciszek was condemned, Jesus came to our rescue, like St Maximilian Kolbe, came to exchange His own life for Franciszek. These things call for a response; and such a response should be that of appreciation. How can we repay God back for His goodness? Abraham never withheld anything from God. And Franciszek Gajowniczek sought to give back to Maximilian Kolbe who gave his life, his all for him.

Sometimes, we are like the baboon, an animal that is very easy to be given a drink, but very difficult to get your cup back from it. We are often reluctant to give God in the proportion as He has given us. What are we ready to give to God who has given us ALL? It cannot be anything but ALL our life. Your marriage cannot be a reservation. Your business cannot be a reservation, not even your best friend. To us whom all has been given, nothing but all is expected without any reservation.

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