Second Sunday of Lent
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
Every Religious Order, or Congregation, in the world insists on daily private prayer for their members. That is PRAYER…. beyond what is done as a community exercise. That is PRAYER…. that is directly talking and listening to God. WHY? Because no one can get to know God unless they are willing to listen to Him. This kind of prayer has traditionally been called MEDITATION. Let’s take a look at the people we meet in the Scripture readings today.
Abraham was 75 years of age when he left his home for a strange country. He moved out because he heard of a great promise – no explanation, just a promise. He heard it by listening to God.
When he learned to listen to God, it changed his whole life. In fact, it changed yours and mine also. Abraham is the beginning of our faith. He is called the FATHER OF OUR FAITH in the Mass. He is also the father of faith for those who follow the Jewish and Muslim religions.
Today’s readings are about people who listened to God. They did very great things, but they were just normal ordinary folks… a lot like all of us here today. Abraham, for example, was not a saint. Neither before, nor after he heard God’s call. Just read the book of Genesis and you will see for yourself.
In today’s Gospel we meet Moses and Elijah. Two men who became famous because they listened to God. Moses was a liberator and a national hero. Elijah was a prophet and reformer. Both of them, (the bible makes it very clear), learned what they had to do and did it because they listened to God.
In the Gospel, Jesus takes his three friends – Peter, James and John, up the mountain. They were his friends, because they really listened to Jesus… and that is how they found out that He was God.
Listening to God is something you can do also. Lent is meant as a time to help us listen to Jesus more peacefully and with more concentration. This is how it is done.
You need to set aside some time to listen to God. Each person has to find their own time and in their own way. Maybe it is by reading some Scripture for a time each day. Or maybe it is to go off by yourself and spend some time with the Lord. The main thing to remember is that it is NOT a time to be reciting prayers…but in listening to God. Let Him talk to you.
We come to church, and almost always, it is our talking to God. We need to spend some time listening to Him. Have your ever noticed that most younger people prefer to have the radio, I-phone, TV or whatever going. Just having some noise about them. They have not developed the art of listening to God yet. Until we develop that hidden talent, which we all have by the way, we really will not grow in our lives.
You will find at first that this listening experience is difficult – because your thoughts will wander. That is OK. Just be patient with yourself. Get to a place where there is little distraction – maybe use the scriptures to bring your mind back to the subject. You will find some wonderful things begin to happen in your life.
First of all, you will not be so annoyed with situations you really can’t do anything about. Secondly, you will be calmer in your own personal life – not so upset with yourself and your short comings. Thirdly, your frustrations in life become fewer because you give your life to the Lord and let Him talk to while you listen. He will help you think thru a lot of the situations in your life. You will be surprised at the good advice you get from Him.
You are never too old or too young to start meditation. Abraham was 75 when he started listening to God, and it changed the whole world. King David was a teenager when he listened to God. You think only holy people are expected to listen to God? This does not depend on YOUR goodness, but on the goodness of God. God talked to Abraham, and he certainly was no saint. Paul, who had a wild tempter and was quite proud; Peter, who was not too smart and thought he had all the answers; John who was only teenager; Moses who had a problem with stuttering and also had even murdered an Egyptian. God will talk to anyone who will just give him a chance and who is willing to listen to what He has to say.
This Lent, begin a new practice in your life. We call it MEDITATION, but I prefer to call it just listening to God. It will change your life for the better that I can assure you.