March 1, 2015 – Second Sunday of Lent
Most of us have heard many times the story of how God tested Abraham, as reported in our first reading from Genesis. Often there may be various emotional reactions to the situation as it unfolds. However, there are two important aspects of the narrative that we sometimes miss.
Yes, Abraham was tested, but so was his son Isaac. It would seem that Isaac was a willing participant in the ordeal. Isaac clearly did not protest nor resist lying on the altar in preparation for what would occur. Isaac offers an example of one of the basic tenets of stewardship: he trusted completely in God (and in his father, as well). That kind of total trust is difficult, but if we do not trust in the Lord, it is hard for us to make the kind of commitment to stewardship and discipleship the Lord wants from us.
The other feature of this story we sometimes miss is the parallel between Abraham and his son, and what would occur between God and His only son, Jesus Christ. Everything from the mountain to hauling the wood up the mountain to the father sacrificing his son to deliverance from death is reminiscent of Christ’s sacrifice for us, and God’s willingness to offer “His only begotten Son, that those who believe in him may not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)