In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. (1 John 4:9-11)
The story of Abraham, the father of faith to all who believe in one God, tells of a father’s deep love for his son and in the blessings that come when we trust in God’s goodness. Abraham is one who always answers God’s call with “Here I am.” And then God tested Abraham’s faith and asked him to sacrifice his son.
Abraham did everything God told him to do in preparation for the sacrifice because he trusted in God’s plan. God had already promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and kings would come from him. How could that happen without his son? Abraham had faith and believed his son would be saved. Abraham told his son Issac, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8) As it got closer to the moment where Abraham drew his knife to sacrifice his son, the angel of the Lord called out to him and told Abraham not to harm Issac and at that moment, Abraham saw a ram to use as a sacrifice.
This story foretells of God’s plan to provide for us everything we need if we can have faith and believe in his goodness. Just as Abraham found a ram, God will provide a way for us to have eternal life. God’s love for us is so great that he gave us his son, Jesus, to show us how to love one another and live on earth as it is in heaven.
The beauty of God’s offering of Jesus, is that whether or not we have loved God, the gift of Christ and his message of salvation is ours if we choose to receive it. Jesus came for us all and through the very end, he lets us know that no matter what our sins, he will always love us enough to forgive us. Remember, love keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Just as Abraham followed God’s instructions, we are called to follow Jesus’ example of loving one another.
Interestingly, Mother Mary was another figure who like Abraham, told God she was here to do his will.
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Although Mary was not asked to sacrifice her son, she knew from the prophets that her son would be sacrificed, yet her faith and trust in God’s goodness remained. And God’s promise of not just life on earth, but eternal life with him in heaven was the gift that came from it.
In these hard pandemic times, we are being asked to give up so much. Just know that the reward on the other end will be beautiful. We have the potential to eat better, exercise more frequently, sleep longer, actually rest, dream, spend time together with family, set goals, re-prioritze, we will be breathing cleaner air, we will be asked to be kinder to one another, more forgiving, more patient. Life will be different from here on out but when we trust in God, we will see all the blessings possible from it.
Let us have a faith like Mary’s. Let us be obedient like Abraham and know God will provide.
Let us be thankful for God’s loving gift in Jesus’ life and resurrection. Let us follow Jesus’ way and despite all our sin, let us forgive and love one another unconditionally.