Dear Friends in Christ,
On this Second Sunday of Lent, God our Father pours out His love from heaven. From the cloud, His voice echoes forth the priceless love of His only begotten and beloved Son - with a command to listen to Him.
God calls us to listen to His voice. God calls us to silence the noise of the world around us and the noise within us. God calls us to go into the depth of our hearts where we will find Him speaking to us.
Christ speaks to us through His sacrificial love on the Cross, a wellspring of hope and strength in the midst of trials, sufferings and afflictions. He assures us that each suffering united to His passion brings forth immeasurable graces and the promise of His peace. Christ speaks to us through the cries of our brothers and sisters in need of a helping hand, an understanding heart and generous love.
Christ speaks to us most especially in His sacraments, the living signs of His love. God desires to remain with us and nourish us with His love through the most Blessed Eucharist, as He comes to us in the humble appearance of bread and wine. Christ speaks to us in the brokenness of our sins, how His mercies and reconciling love never fail to renew us and make us whole.
Moving towards the second week of Lent, let us invoke the Holy Spirit to open the ears of our hearts to listen to and follow Christ's call of love, sacrifice and surrender. What are those things which God is asking us to surrender and sacrifice and offer to Him to be transfigured by His love? With firm trust that our hearts will be transfigured into the Heart of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; and that all our crosses will be transfigured into the light of the resurrection of Christ; and He will bring us with Him, as He is seated in glory at the right hand of the Father.
Praying with you all for a safe and Spirit-illumined week ahead, dear friends!
In Christ, with Lenten blessings,
Rev. Jonathan Paala
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;[a] then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mark 9:7)