LISTEN: Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Lent — Year A

Two themes, seemingly disconnected, pervade today’s readings: in Genesis and 2 Timothy it is about calling; in Matthew’s Gospel it is transfiguration.

A true calling is rooted in conversation between God and us. All conversation is dialogue, just as a vocation is both a call and response. The psalm reminds us that it’s God’s initiative – and our response. The same can be said about the Transfiguration.

For Peter, James and John it is a revelation and ultimately their transfiguration too: God confirming them in their calling. But such revelation comes with a purpose, even perhaps with a cost – that henceforth and forever they were tied to Jesus, tied to his mission, tied to carrying on his mission no matter what. They had yet to experience the full ‘cost of discipleship’.

Nor indeed did Abram in Genesis when he hears the call of God. Nor indeed the audience who listened to the letter 2 Timothy. Nor indeed do when we – having encountered God somewhere in our lives – discern and follow God’s call to us.

There is an old song from World War Two that recounts a badly damaged bomber trying to land at a British airfield after a raid. The line that strikes me here is “we are coming in – on a wing and a prayer”. And that’s all we have, that’s all we are promised: that God is with us, that God will not abandon us, just as we read in Genesis and in 2 Timothy. That’s all we can expect.

But in God reaching out to us, that’s all we should need.

Join Fr Anthony Egan SJ as he reflects on the readings for the Second Sunday of Lent — Year A

Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts.
Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 33; 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9

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Fr Anthony Egan SJ

Fr Anthony Egan SJ (born Cape Town 1966; entered the Jesuits 1990; ordained 2002) has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.
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