HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: GIVING AS AN ACT OF SACRIFICE
BY: Fr. Cosmas Ukadike CM
Giving is associated with sacrificing one’s self, rights, will, belonging, pleasure, talent, money etc.
In the first reading of today, Abraham was made to give his ONLY son whom he loved for sacrifice as demanded of him by God (Gen 22, 2&9). This was a call to let go of his cherished belonging; his Only son, the beloved, as the scriptures put it with emphasis. Yes Abraham arose early in the morning and started off the journey as the Lord had requested of him, but it wasn’t an easy task. We know Abraham and Sarah had since their youth been praying and hoping on God for this promised son, who later came while Abraham was already old in his hundredth year (Gen 21, 5).
And the coming of Isaac was greeted with great rejoicing as Sarah’s heart was filled with joy and laughter. She celebrated in these words: Who would ever have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children! Yet I have borne him a son in his old age (Gen 21, 7). So imagine that this celebration would be short lived. Abraham and Sarah would have to go back to square one, childless (Not counting Ishmael here).
In spite of all these, Abraham was ready and willing to let go. A sign of his reliance and trust in God who owns all that we have and, believing that giving to God is storing treasures for himself in heaven. God cannot be out done in the act of giving as he has also taught us to give by not sparing his only begotten son, but gave him up for us (Rom 8, 32).
He did not send one of the angels or prophets to die on our behalf, but his only begotten son, the one whom Moses and Elijah came to testify about today in the transfiguration gospel, and the one whom the voice from heaven declared to be “my son, the beloved” (Mk 9, 4&7). In all these, we see that God truly loves a cheerful giver and is calling on us to give something of ourselves for the good of our brothers and sisters, and for the glory of His name. We will certainly not loose our reward if we give.
The Christian life is a constant call for giving and sacrificing; what are you giving God this Lent? May we never hold back from giving to God and giving generously with all our hearts. Have a spirit filled Lent. Fr. Cosmas Ukadike, C.M.