Sunday, February 25
Gn 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Ps 116:10,15-19;
Rom 8:31b-34; Mk 9: 2-10
God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Ready!” he replied…
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…
…I know how devoted to God you are,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son…
I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants
as countless as the stars of heaven… Gn 22: 1-2, 16-18
It would be easy to skip today’s first reading and concentrate on the absorbing,
mystical transfiguration of Jesus. Yet Abraham, walking resolutely up
Mt. Moriah, his much loved only son at his side, carrying the kindling for sacrifice,
tells us something indispensable for us as believers. Abraham is called
upon to give up the one he loves the most, the son who bears within him the
future of his line. Will Abraham give up his future, his dreams, God’s promise
of posterity because God calls him to this unparalleled generosity? Are we
also willing to give up the most treasured aspects of our lives because God
asks us to do so? In the end, Abraham did not need to sacrifice Isaac. We
may not need to either. But are we willing? Abraham, Isaac, and Jesus did not
stay on their mountains of profound revelation. They came down and continued
their journeys. Can we continue our Lenten journey in this spirit?
You lead me to the mountaintop
bearing all my personal hopes for the future.
When you ask me to release them, give me the courage
to do so, and the humility to receive them back.
To be openhanded with God,
ready to offer God the Isaacs of my life.
Joan Sobala, SSJ