2 nd Sunday of Lent
March 8, 2020
“Alone, but Not Alone”
II Tim 1:8-10
My Brothers and Sisters in the Lord –
Human beings were not created to be alone. We all need one another. We need each other for support, for encouragement, and for all the learning and development that are necessary for a fully human existence.
Without loving parents, children wither and become emotionally underdeveloped. Without teachers, we would know far less. And without mentors, we would not develop the skills and the creativity that benefit the world around us.
However, we must listen and respond positively to all that is good that our teachers and mentors share with us. Sometimes this takes real faith and trust on our part. We must walk with our mentor through the various stages of the process that results in the desired outcome. This walk will take courage and commitment; it will have its struggles and missteps. And yet there is great satisfaction when we, at last, accomplish all that we set out to do!
Our life with God is very much like what I have just described. God has much to teach us. God will use parents, teachers, and mentors to help us on our journey to Him. It also helps to have others around us who are on the same journey. However, sooner or later, we will be on our own with God alone, because our particular journey is unique and special to us!
Abraham was someone who was called by God to something far greater than he ever dreamed. God made promises to him that required blind faith and trust in an outcome that went far beyond his lifespan. Although Abraham believed and trusted, he also made mistakes. He doubted and he complained to God. At times he did things in his own way with troublesome results. But he learned from his mistakes and he, gradually, became a great blessing for all the world!
Jesus was taught and mentored by Joseph and Mary. Moreover, he listened to God throughout his life. We don’t know all that Jesus foresaw about his future; but, like many of us, he probably had hints or intimations about the future and how it would unfold.
Jesus was, no doubt, led by the Holy Spirit when he took Peter and the Zebedee brothers up on the mountain. There, a marvelous encounter took place! He spoke with Moses and Elijah! Moses was God’s lawgiver of the Old Testament, and Elijah was one of God’s great prophets. They became mentors for Jesus on his own journey and for his own passover from this life!
The disciples must have felt blessed at first, as they witnessed the encounter with Moses and Elijah and the divine light emanating from Jesus. But they were overcome with fear at the voice of God. They were told, in no uncertain terms, that they must listen to all that Jesus would say in the future. This also meant that they would have to implement his words in their own lives! This would be a daunting task for the disciples just as it is for us today!
Even though we have teachers, mentors, and fellow travelers – even though God is calling us – we still experience hardship as part of our life in this world. Today, St. Paul teaches us that we must bear hardship for the sake of the good news, the gospel, that Jesus brought to the world. Living as a disciple of Jesus will always take courage and commitment. But God will give us the strength and the grace to face whatever we encounter.
Paul goes on to say that God has saved us through Jesus. He also calls us to a holy life – a life that is a blessing for others in the love and the kindness we bear toward them. This is not something we can achieve without God’s grace and power – for we are weak and prone to make mistakes!
Brothers and Sisters, because we were created for God and on a journey to God, we all need teachers and mentors – we, also, need each other. Yes, there is a part of us that must walk alone with God. Yet, it is comforting to know that others are doing likewise – along with us and often beside us – as part of the community of disciples which is church!
So, let us pray, today, that we draw closer to Jesus, who is our ultimate mentor – May we hear and listen to the voice of God in the many ways it can come to us – May we assist one another on our mutual journey – And may we always be faithful to the Gospel as true disciples of Jesus!
March 8, 2020 Msgr. Russell G. Terra
Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Redding, CA