Parallel Mountains

02-27-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

On this Second Sunday of Lent, the Church invites us to reflect upon two beautiful events regarding top of the mountain experiences: The sacrifice by Abraham in the first reading, and the transfiguration of Jesus in the Gospel. Scripture scholars assert that the relationship between Abraham and Isaac foreshadows the relationship between God the Father and Jesus. Like Abraham, God was prepared to let go of what was most precious to him, his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. Similarly, scripture scholars tell us that there are some similarities between Isaac and Jesus Christ.

For instance, we are told that:

  • Isaac was the only son of Abraham. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.
  • Isaac carried the wood on which he was to be sacrificed. Jesus also carried the cross on which he was crucified.
  • Isaac was to be sacrificed on a mountain. Jesus was also crucified on Mt. Calvary.
  • Isaac willingly obeyed his father, Abraham, and laid on the wood to be sacrificed. Jesus willingly accepted his own death on the Cross.
  • God provided a lamb to be sacrificed in place of Isaac. Jesus became the “lamb of sacrifice.”

However, the big question here is: Why did God allow his own son to be sacrificed? Why did the same God who spared the son of Abraham not spare his own Son, but instead le[ him in the hands of his enemies? This shows the depth of God’s love for us as Jesus himself explains: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him might not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Abraham is credited as our “Father in Faith” because of his absolute trust in God and his willingness to let go of what was most precious to him, the only son of his old age, Isaac. God blessed Abraham a hundredfold and made a covenant with him because of his absolute trust. Like Abraham, we are invited during this Season of Lent to let go of something precious to us so that we can listen to the voice of the beloved son. In letting go of our attachment to material things, bad habits and behaviors that promise us pleasure, we gain eternal reward from God. As Jesus says: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).