Second Sunday of Lent (Year B)


I Believe

Second Sunday of Lent (Year B)

Genesis 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” he replied. Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you.” When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. “Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger. “Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So he went and took the ram and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son. Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing— all this because you obeyed my command.”

Romans 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us, who will condemn? Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised— who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

Mark 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Susanna Mak

The Catholic Catechism states, “We firmly believe, and hence we hope that, just as Christ is truly risen from the dead and lives forever, so after death the righteous will live forever with the risen Christ and he will raise them up on the last day” (CCC 989). When we gather as a faith community to celebrate the Eucharist, we profess in unison, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come” (Nicene Creed). This belief is at the heart of the mystery revealed in this Sunday’s readings.

In the first reading, “God tested Abraham” by asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (Gen 22:1). Abraham’s faith is pushed to its utmost limit; however, God’s faithfulness surpasses all human inclinations. At this most trying moment in Abraham’s life, God raises up Abraham from the ashes of despair, “Because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will indeed bless you, […] and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves, because you have obeyed my voice” (Gen 22:16-18). St. Paul encourages us that nothing can separate the faithful from the love of God, not “hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword” (Rm 8:35). If we suffer and die “with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him” (Rm 6:8). The Catechism reminds us that “hope in the bodily resurrection of the dead established itself as a consequence intrinsic to faith in God as creator of the whole [person], soul and body. The creator of heaven and earth is also the one who faithfully maintains his covenant with Abraham and his posterity. It was in this double perspective that faith in the resurrection came to be expressed” (CCC 992). Abraham rises, after all, through his unshakable faith in God’s oath to him.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus reveals his true identity to his friends, Peter, James and John, in a way that is most fantastical and astounding. He is “transfigured … his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them” (Mk 9:3). Not only is the Transfiguration a revelation of Christ’s divinity, it also foretells Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. Jesus “reveals that he will have to go by the way of the cross at Jerusalem in order to ‘enter into his glory’. […] the cloud indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit. The whole Trinity appeared: the Father in the voice; the Son in the man; the Spirit in the shining cloud” (CCC 555). Therefore, our resurrection, like Christ’s, will be the work of the Most Holy Trinity. St. Paul reassures us that “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you (Rm 8:11). Not only has this vision strengthened the faith of Jesus’ disciples, but it has also “prepared them for the terrible struggle of which they were to be witnesses in Gethsemani” (“Catholic Encyclopedia”, www.newadvent.org). Similarly, as we struggle with life’s challenges, pain or even death of loved ones, we are also strengthened by this glorious vision of Christ’s Transfiguration.

During the season of Lent, as we remember God’s faithfulness to Abraham, may we be courageous enough to obey God’s voice, offer our failings and fear to God, and place our trust in His unconditional love. Let us pray:

We rise again from ashes,
from the good we’ve failed to do.
We rise again from ashes,
to create ourselves anew.
If all our world is ashes,
then must our lives be true,
an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

We offer you our failures,
we offer you attempts,
the gifts not fully given,
the dreams not fully dreamt.
Give our stumblings direction,
give our visions wider view,
an offering of ashes, an offering to you.

(Tom Conry “Ashes”)

Susanna Mak

Susanna has a deep conviction that faith needs to be manifested in daily life, particularly, in one’s encounters with others as well as amidst dilemmas, choices, and challenges. She strives to be a living sign of God’s love and hope as a daughter, sister, friend, aunt, wife, teacher, chaplain, life-long learner, and occasional writer for FLL. She has been a high school teacher in Toronto for almost 20 years, with experiences in English and literacy, youth leadership initiatives, the Chaplaincy Team, to mention a few. She has a B. Comm, B.A. in English, and a B. Education from University of Toronto, an M.A. in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University, and a Graduate Certificate of Theological Studies from Regis College, U of T. She is humbled by the opportunity to be part of the FLL Writing Team.


乙年 四旬期第二主日



乙年 四旬期第二主日

創世紀 22:1-2,9,10-13,15-18


羅馬書 8:31-34


馬爾谷福音 9:2-10


Susanna Mak


在第一篇讀經 ,「天主試探亞巴郎」,遂叫他把他的獨生子依撒格獻為全燔祭(創22:1)。亞巴郎的信德被考驗到極限;但是天主的忠信遠超過人性所傾向的。在亞巴郎受到生命中最大的考驗時,天主把他從絕望的灰土中高舉起來:「因為你作了這事, 沒有顧惜你的獨生子,我必多多祝福你,[…] 地上萬民要因你的後裔蒙受祝福,因為你聽從了我的話」(創22:16-18)。聖保祿宗徒這樣勉勵我們,沒有任何東西能使信眾與天主的愛隔絕,不管是「困苦嗎?是窘迫嗎?是迫害嗎?是饑餓嗎?是赤貧嗎?是危險嗎?是刀劍嗎?」(羅8:35)。如果我們受苦而「與基督同死,我們相信也要與他同生」(羅6:8)。《天主教教理》也這樣提醒我們:「對亡者肉身復活的希望,本身是信仰的必然後果,即相信天主創造了整個的人,包括靈魂和肉身。天地的創造者也是那信守盟約者,即祂與亞巴郎及其子孫所訂的盟約。就是在這雙重的透視下,復活的信仰開始呈現出來」(天主教教理992)。因為亞巴郎對天主的誓言有絕不動搖的信德,最終他被高舉了。

在馬爾谷福音裏,耶穌用一個非常奇異和令人震驚的方式,把祂真正的身份顯示給祂的朋友…伯多祿、雅各伯和若望。祂「變了容貌…祂的衣服發光,那樣潔白,世上沒有一個漂布的能漂得那樣白」(谷9:3)。耶穌顯聖容不只顯露了基督的天主性,同時也預告了基督的死亡、復活和升天。耶穌「宣示了『為進入祂的光榮』(路 24:26),必須先經過耶路撒冷的十字架。[…] 雲彩是指聖神的臨在:整個聖三都顯現了:父以聲音、子以人形、 聖神以雲彩」(教理 555)。因此,我們的復活就如基督的復活一樣,是天主聖三的化工。聖保祿再三向我們保證說:「如果那使耶穌從死者中復活者的聖神住在你們內,那麼,那使基督從死者中復活的,也必要藉那住在你們內的聖神,使你們有死的身體復活。」(羅8:11)。這景象不但增強了耶穌眾門徒的信德,而且也「使他們作好準備,在革責瑪尼園內,為那可怕的掙扎作見證」(《天主教百科全書》, www.newadvent.org) 。 同樣,當我們為生命中的各種挑戰、痛苦或甚至摰愛離世而掙扎的時候,基督顯聖容這個光榮景象,使我們堅強起來。


一個灰土的奉獻, 奉獻給祢。


(Tom Conry 「灰土」)

Susanna Mak

Susanna深信,信仰需要在日常生活中顯露出來,尤其是當與別人相處時,需要分擔對方所面對的困境、抉擇和挑戰。她有着很多不同的身份:女兒、姐姐、朋友、姨姨、妻子、老師、校牧、終身學習者和偶爾替《生命恩泉》寫作的作者。在每一個身份當中, 她努力為天主的愛和希望作見証。 她在多倫多擔任高中教師近二十年,擁有英語、學生讀寫能力、青年領袖活動、校牧組等經驗。 她是多倫多大學商業和英語學士,教育學士,亞省Athabasca大學綜合研究碩士,以及擁有多倫多大學Regis學院神學研究碩士證書。她對於成為《生命恩泉》寫作團隊的一份子, 深感榮幸。


乙年 四旬期第二主日



乙年 四旬期第二主日

创世纪 22:1-2,9,10-13,15-18

那时候,天主试探亚巴郎,说:「亚巴郎!」亚巴郎回答说:「我在这里。」天主说:「带你心爱的独生子依撒格,到摩黎雅地方去,在我要指给你的一座山上,将他献为全燔祭。」当他们到了天主指给亚巴郎的地方,亚巴郎便在那里,筑起一座祭坛,摆好木柴,将儿子依撒格捆好,放在祭坛的木柴上。亚巴郎正伸手举刀,要宰献自己的儿子时,上主的使者从天上,对亚巴郎大声说:「亚巴郎!亚巴郎!」亚巴郎回答说:「我在这里。 」使者说:「不可在这孩子身上下手,不要伤害他!我现在知道你实在敬畏天主,因为你为了我,竟然连自己的独生子,也不顾惜。」亚巴郎举目一望,见有一只公绵羊,两角缠在灌木中,于是前去取了那只公绵羊,代替自己的儿子,献为全燔祭。上主的使者由天上,又呼唤亚巴郎说:「我指着自己起誓——上主的断语——因为你做了这事,没有顾惜你的独生子,我必多多降福你,使你的后裔繁多,如同天上的星辰,如同海边的沙粒。你的后裔,必占领他们仇敌的城门;地上万民,都要因你的后裔,而蒙受祝福,因为你听从了我的话。」

罗马书 8:31-34


马尔谷福音 9:2-10


Susanna Mak


在第一篇读经 ,「天主试探亚巴郎」,遂叫他把他的独生子依撒格献为全燔祭(创22:1)。亚巴郎的信德被考验到极限;但是天主的忠信远超过人性所倾向的。在亚巴郎受到生命中最大的考验时,天主把他从绝望的灰土中高举起来:「因为你作了这事, 没有顾惜你的独生子,我必多多祝福你,[…] 地上万民要因你的后裔蒙受祝福,因为你听从了我的话」(创22:16-18)。圣保禄宗徒这样勉励我们,没有任何东西能使信众与天主的爱隔绝,不管是「困苦吗?是窘迫吗?是迫害吗?是饥饿吗?是赤贫吗?是危险吗?是刀剑吗?」(罗8:35)。如果我们受苦而「与基督同死,我们相信也要与他同生」(罗6:8)。 《天主教教理》也这样提醒我们:「对亡者肉身复活的希望,本身是信仰的必然后果,即相信天主创造了整个的人,包括灵魂和肉身。天地的创造者也是那信守盟约者,即祂与亚巴郎及其子孙所订的盟约。就是在这双重的透视下,复活的信仰开始呈现出来」(天主教教理992)。因为亚巴郎对天主的誓言有绝不动摇的信德,最终他被高举了。

在马尔谷福音里,耶稣用一个非常奇异和令人震惊的方式,把祂真正的身份显示给祂的朋友…伯多禄、雅各伯和若望。祂「变了容貌…祂的衣服发光,那样洁白,世上没有一个漂布的能漂得那样白」(谷9:3)。耶稣显圣容不只显露了基督的天主性,同时也预告了基督的死亡、复活和升天。耶稣「宣示了『为进入祂的光荣』(路24:26),必须先经过耶路撒冷的十字架。[…] 云彩是指圣神的临在:整个圣三都显现了:父以声音、子以人形、 圣神以云彩」(教理555)。因此,我们的复活就如基督的复活一样,是天主圣三的化工。圣保禄再三向我们保证说:「如果那使耶稣从死者中复活者的圣神住在你们内,那么,那使基督从死者中复活的,也必要借那住在你们内的圣神,使你们有死的身体复活。」(罗8:11)。这景象不但增强了耶稣众门徒的信德,而且也「使他们作好准备,在革责玛尼园内,为那可怕的挣扎作见证」(《天主教百科全书》, www.newadvent.org) 。同样,当我们为生命中的各种挑战、痛苦或什至摰爱离世而挣扎的时候,基督显圣容这个光荣景象,使我们坚强起来。


一个灰土的奉献, 奉献给祢。


(Tom Conry 「灰土」)

Susanna Mak

Susanna深信,信仰需要在日常生活中显露出来,尤其是当与别人相处时,需要分担对方所面对的困境、抉择和挑战。她有着很多不同的身份:女儿、姐姐、朋友、姨姨、妻子、老师、校牧、终身学习者和偶尔替《生命恩泉》写作的作者。在每一个身份当中, 她努力为天主的爱和希望作见证。她在多伦多担任高中教师近二十年,拥有英语、学生读写能力、青年领袖活动、校牧组等经验。她是多伦多大学商业和英语学士,教育学士,亚省Athabasca大学综合研究硕士,以及拥有多伦多大学Regis学院神学研究硕士证书。她对于成为《生命恩泉》写作团队的一份子, 深感荣幸。