February 27-28, 2021
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Tests are a fact of life! I have never met anyone who “enjoys” taking tests or having to be tested whether it be academic, medical, for employment or otherwise. Tests mean stress and who in their right mind wants to go through it. We wait for the results many times with fear and trepidation. When the results are favorable we exalt and when not, we are in agony. Either way, however, we get a good look at who we are and what we are capable of doing or where we need improvement. The test exposes our character.
Today’s Old Testament lesson from Genesis starts with God putting Abraham to the test. As heart-wrenching as it was, he passed with “flying colors” and we ourselves are part of the results. Do we not acclaim Abraham to be “our father in faith”, (cf. Eucharistic Prayer 1)? We cannot always anticipate what the results may be, but if God is putting us to the test it is because He wants us to see ourselves in relationship to Him as loving, trustful and obedient, God gains nothing by this test; we gain everything.
Very often our loving Father softens the angst with regard to the “test”. He certainly does in the Gospel of the Transfiguration. Forty days from this revealing of Jesus’ divinity, the apostles will be in the midst of Our Savior’s Passion. Seemingly, everything they hoped for would be dashed. In the midst of trial it is easy to forget the blessings and goodness that preceded. Perhaps it is the same with us. We forget all the good that the Lord has bestowed on us. The test overwhelms and we lose sight of the results yet to come. Like Abraham, we need to remember that God is indeed faithful to us and has only our best interest in store. Be not afraid of the test nor cower from it. The best is coming.
We offer our congratulations to our children who on Saturday made their First Confession. We commend their parents and catechists who diligently prepared them for this important day. They beautifully passed the test, and may they now experience the love of Jesus more profoundly in their lives. May we as well.
Blessings on your Lenten journey,