Second Sunday of Lent
March 8, 2020
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
2 Timothy 1:8b-10
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.
He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but now made manifest
through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus,
who destroyed death and brought life and immortality
to light through the gospel.
God has designed our life before the foundation of the World. The word design means to conceive or execute a plan for a purpose. The whole creation has been created or designed for a specific purpose. The purpose is Salvation through Jesus Christ. The Salvation Plan was executed by Jesus Christ ( The anointed one who saves) the second person of Trinity, who is the Creator of Heaven and Earth and God himself. All human beings are designed to encounter Salvation in Jesus Christ. The Salvation is the ultimate act of God which has been proposed to the Whole Creation. The Salvation is beyond Heaven , heaven is nothing but living in the full presence of Jesus Christ. We can experience Jesus in fullness of Spirit upon this Earth. The Salvation is experienced by listening and acting to Jesus words the Gospel and living with Jesus body the Church. The Salvation is the output of faith , love and hope. The Salvation can not be experienced through Human works or Human discipline or Worldly ideologies or Worldly Philosophies because Salvation is not Worldly but Divine plan through Jesus Christ.
God has designed us in Holiness and Holiness can be achieved only through his grace, which is a complete package given to a person who believes Jesus as his Lord and Master of his life. When we believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ , the grace automatically flows in to us and makes us holy and righteous before God. If we try to achieve our Salvation through our own disciplined and educated modern worldly life , then we design our life in our own understanding and not through the Gospel of Christ.
If the Discipline or education of this World teaches us to abort or kill a child to control population , the gospel teaches us that taking human life is Sin of murder ,and one who commits this Sin or Encourages is an murderer and can not inherit the Kingdom of God . We can check hundreds and thousands of our actions contrary to the Gospel truths.
It is impossible to achieve Salvation through our Works but we must get the grace from the Salvation. This transformation is called Salvation Experience or transformation experience or Born again experience. This transformation experience enlightens us and introduces us to the Holy spirit . The Holy Spirit of God opens the channels of all graces in to our life. We need to live our lives according to these graces not according to the Worldly channels of wisdom. For example Christian Marriages are different than the worldly marriages , Christian marriages are a sign of the grace of God’s love and lived in God’s grace , it can be providence or education of our families. Our religious Congregations are suppose to spread the grace of Gospel Values than the Prosperity Gospel values like elite education and Worldly discipline. The Worldly Values however good they may look like , they can not join the Gospel values. We may be in the World through it’s traditional approach but our lives and goal must be focused on the Gospel values.
The Transformation or Salvation experience bestows grace upon every activity . All our actions need Salvation . In every activity whether it is small or big , a Christian must align his or her life to the Word of God through Prayer and wait upon the Lord to fulfill his promise by showering his grace or transforming our Prayer requests or activity in to Divine activity. Only a transformed human activity can connect to the plan of God and all other human activities which are not transformed in his grace are not according to the plan of Salvation. We must wait upon the Lord to see his power, beauty , strength, love, ways and miracles, just like a farmer waits upon a plant in patience to produce good fruits and lovely flowers.
In transfiguration experience, Father testifies to the Disciples by calling Jesus as his beloved Son and to listen to him . If we listen to Jesus Words we do the will of our Father. Let us understand our Christian calling more profoundly and not just live on the air by copying the Worldly people. If we have to copy let us copy our Lord and the saints and faithful who lived the Gospel on this Earth. If we are prosperous or build a family without living the Gospel values and passing on those Gospel values to our Children, whatever we have done in our lives is a big Garbage which will perish on this Earth. The house built in the power of money and human wisdom and strength, chasing prosperity in their whole life can not possess the the Spirit of God, and one day will be plundered by the Evil in the absence of God’s protection.
We can achieve immortality like Moses and Elijah , if we are transformed in his grace, everyday, in every action and decision of our life. God has designed our life and provided the grace through Salvation through Jesus Christ ,before the creation of the World and we must build our life according to his design and Bear our share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God alone.