March 4, 2012


Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent (B) - originally posted at

Gen 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; Ps 115; Rom 8:31b-34; Mark 9:2-10

Mountaineering is a transcendent experience. On a human level, we transcend the limitation of our fears, and discover the tenacity of the human spirit. As Edmund Hillary put it, “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” But mountains have also long had a religious significance and have been regarded as places where God is encountered. From mountaintops, God reveals to Man that his human limitations and mortal fears can be transcended, and Man discovers the divine heights to which the human spirit can soar.

For what every human heart longs for is to see God, but no one can see God’s face and live (cf. Ex 33:20). So, the closest the prophets and patriarchs could come to transcending this human limitation was to climb mountains, where God allowed them a glimpse of his glory. We, too, must be mountaineers if we’re to see God, and today’s Lenten readings show us how. With God’s grace, we are enabled to conquer something in ourselves as we climb each peak, so that, from each of these mountaintops, we can see something of God.

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