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How could Abraham do what he did?

How could Abraham do what he did?

2nd Sunday of Lent
By Fr. Victor Feltes

How could Abraham do what he did? He fully trusted in God, and through this trust he and us were greatly blessed. God had promised descendants to Abraham through his son, Isaac, declaring, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” Because of the miraculous birth his son and other experiences with God, Abraham believed the Lord could and would keep all his promises.

So when Abraham reached the mountain of sacrifice, where the Jewish temple would be built about 900 years later in Jerusalem, he told his servants (in a passage omitted from our first reading): “Stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” The Holy Spirit tells us in the Letter to the Hebrews that Abraham “reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.”

After Jesus was transfigured and proclaimed by the Eternal Father to be his beloved Son, “as they were coming down from the mountain, [Jesus] charged [Peter, James, and John] not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when [he] had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.” The sacrifice of Isaac, in which Abraham’s son was spared, foreshadows the sacrifice of Jesus offered by God the Father for us.

Upon staying the hand of Abraham, the Lord’s messenger said, “I know now how devoted you are to God.” After Christ’s sacrifice, we now know how devoted God is to us. St. Alphonsus Liguori agrees with St. Thomas Aquinas in saying, “God loves man just as if man were His god, and as if without man He could not be happy; ‘as if man were the god of God Himself, and without him He could not be happy.’”

Such is God’s devotion to us. And brothers and sisters, as St. Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” So let us fully trust God as Abraham did, and through this well-founded trust be greatly blessed and greatly bless others as well.

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