BY: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE

The merits of God’s love is inexhaustible, made evident in the life and mission of His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, Who offered the greatest sacrifice to help us regain our dignity and status as sons and daughters of God. The merits of Christ’s Sacrifice are ever available and accessible to us by the power of the Holy Spirit. To benefit from these merits and from this treasure of inestimable value, we must also give up everything as the proper and positive response to God whose love for us is beyond all telling. May we open our hearts to God with grateful sacrifice of everything for His sake; Amen.


What are you ready to offer to God in exchange for the merits of salvation? Abraham was ready to offer in sacrifice everything that was visibly connected to his future and to the promises God made to Him. Abraham was a man greatly disposed to walk with God and to give-up everything for God’s sake. Firstly, he renounced his ancestral heritage to go to the land which God promised to show him (Gen 12:1). And once again, he was ready to sacrifice the only visible source of his posterity in obedience to God. Abraham’s attitude was that of absolute faith and trust in God. He knew quite well that Isaac was his sole heir, but he also knew that we owe everything to God and he trusted that God can transform our story from emptiness to fullness, especially when we offer Him everything in sacrifice. This sincere trust was the source of Abraham’s journey of faith in the First Reading of today (Gen 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18), “when they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.” God has given us everything we need and He requests we offer Him everything in return; not half measures. Abraham did this with the greatest distinction! God’s love for us is true and verifiable because He has made it known to us in different ways, but most especially in His son Jesus Christ. He “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give” (Romans 8:31-34). Our love for God must be inspired by the kind of love God has for us. This was the thing that distinguished Abraham. Love cannot exist without sacrifice; hence, our ability to sacrifice makes our profession of love towards God and towards our brothers and sisters real. Abraham loved God, and his love for God was unconditional. This attracted God’s unconditional blessings and favours for him and all generations in his favour.

God’s love towards us is kenotic; the type and style of love that empties itself for the sake of the beloved. Our love for God and for our brothers and sisters must be kenotic also, in order to be proper and fruitful. A kenotic type of love is one that withholds nothing, the type of love that sees beyond the here and now; the type of love that redeems. This is the type of love made manifest in our Lord Jesus Christ, in His salvific passion and death, and in His glorious resurrection, ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit upon us. Even though full of the glory and power of His Eternal Father as was made known on the Mount of the Transfiguration, He brought Himself to the lowliest state of the human condition, climaxing in His suffering and death. The Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ is a scene that teaches us the intimate connection between sacrifice and glory. Christ made his disciples understand this connection in the Gospel of today (Mark 9:2-10), as “He warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” If we wish to be glorious like Christ, we must learn to sacrifice everything in and for the love of God. In Christ, we see the divine approval of the attitude of Abraham. For us also, in this gracious Season of Lent, we come to realise that the secret to receiving the plenitude of the merits of the Paschal Sacrifice is to humanly offer everything in sacrifice to God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lenten Season is a period to develop a Sacrificial Attitude after the example of God our Creator in Christ Jesus our Lord, and after the example of Abraham our father in faith.

Lord God, help us to always understand that there is nothing we can sacrifice in this life for Your sake that is bigger than the blessings and favours You have in store for us. You are the Greatest and Your love for us is always greater than we can imagine. May we be victims of Your love and mercy; Amen. Happy Sunday;



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