Lent Alphabet (B)

And a voice came from heaven,
‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’

The Lent Lectionary pairs Mark’s account of the Transfiguration with the poignant story of Abraham and Isaac climbing Mt Moriah and preparing for sacrifice. Both Jesus and Isaac are beloved, only sons, both are following the path marked out for them. A relationship of love frames both stories.

Isaac is the child of promise and of Abraham’s old age:
God said, ‘Take your son, your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, where you are to offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall point out to you.’
These verses always move me.

There is a similar tenderness in the Father’s voice from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him’. These words are full of affirmation. Some years ago I read an article by Jesuit, Pat Davis, on the Psychology of Obedience. He made this comment:
It is very interesting that when God the Father speaks of Jesus it is always affirming. Now you would think that Jesus was the last person who needed affirmation, since he was fully human, fully mature, and yet each time we hear the Father’s voice speaking about his Son, it is very affirming, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’

So Lent then is an invitation to us all to move deeper into the mystery of God’s love and know that we too are beloved.

How would you most like God to show you that you are Beloved this Lent?

(Mark 9:2-10, Second Sunday in Lent)