Readings for the 2nd Sunday in Lent
Mark 8:27-38; Romans 5:1-11; Genesis 17:1-7,15-16
Faith holds on to God’s promise in the absence of visible proof.
The promise God made to Abram and Sarai was extremely lavish. This nomadic elderly couple was to become “exceedingly fruitful”. Nations, kings, and land would be their legacy. And for proof? Nothing but a few drops of blood and a scar – the sign of circumcision. God’s promise was everything (Gen 17).
God’s Old Testament promise would be finally fulfilled in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – seed of Abraham and King of kings. The shed blood and enduring scars of Christ are the victory sign we cling to in faith. In them we find peace with God, grace to help us stand, and joy in the midst of struggle (Rom 5).
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks his disciples. Though Peter gave a faithful answer – “You are the Christ!” – he could not grasp its meaning. Self-denial and servanthood are the way of Christ and all who would follow him. Before Peter speaks, he must first listen to his Savior and learn from him how to live (Mk 8).