Sunday 1 March
Second Sunday of Lent
Genesis 22.1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Psalm 115, Romans 8.31-34
Mark 9.2-10

Today’s first reading is part of the series of Genesis readings regarding Abraham, which is carefully developed over several chapters. The most important aspect of the Abraham stories is the constant issue of the Covenant. In today’s section there is a real poignancy in the repeated phrase: ‘Your son, your only son, whom you love.’ The suggestion that God asks Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son will raise distress in many people (what sort of a God demands the sacrifice of a beloved son?) However, that challenge should only reinforce the Church’s understanding of this passage as a prefiguring of the sacrifice of Jesus – ‘My Son, the beloved’ – as the voice from the cloud states in today’s gospel.

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