II SUNDAY OF LENT
genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18; romans 8:31b-34; mark 9:2-10
«no holding back» is the title of michael holding’s autobiography.
it conveys his attitude during his career: he claimed 249 test and 142 odi wickets because he gave his all in every match. it highlights his manner as a commentator: though gentle, he is a fearless and rational critic. it captures the tenor of the book: he does not shirk controversial issues like the slide of west indian cricket, the dismal state of its admin, the controversy over allen stanford, and icc politics.
holding owes his achievements as a cricketer, a commentator and a writer to «no holding back»!
«no holding back» is the thrust of today’s lenten liturgy, and the reason for GOD blessing abraham and for JESUS’ glorification.
GOD blessed abraham abundantly because he did not hold anything back: he left his homeland, believed that GOD would give him an heir despite his and sarah’s advanced years, and then did not hold back the life of that heir.
at the transfiguration, GOD’s voice from the cloud said: «this is my beloved son…» «this» son is one who did not hold back his life. further, JESUS’ glorification—foreshadowed at the transfiguration—happened after his passion and death on the cross… after he sacrificed his all.
paul, in romans 8:32, writes that GOD did not hold back «his own son but handed him over for us all.»
what do i hold back from GOD? will i imitate GOD, JESUS and abraham… and make «no holding back» the thrust of my life?
how will i practise «no holding back» today?