Posted by: fvbcdm | July 5, 2017

Feast of Saint Anthony Zaccaria (5 July 2017)

In the Book of Genesis we have the striking story of God’s requiring of Abraham that he take his son Isaac and offer him in sacrifice–that is to say kill him—to show his obedience to God.  It is a terrible request that God makes of Abraham, who has only this one beloved son.  Furthermore, Isaac is still an unmarried boy, and yet God has promised that Abraham will become the father of extremely numerous progeny.  How can this be?  But Abraham does not hesitate.  He takes his son, along with the wood for a fire and some living coals and heads to the place which God indicates.

Why would a loving God make such a terrible request of this man Abraham, whom He has chosen to be the father of the Chosen People?  It is because Abraham is to be the progenitor of the Savior of the World.  And that Savior will save the world through a supreme act of obedience to repair the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve.  God wishes to test and to show to the world the obedient spirit of Abraham, who rises immediately after hearing the Divine Will and takes his son to sacrifice him.  Thus, he shows himself to be a profoundly obedient man, not questioning God’s Holy Will.  At the last moment, an angel is sent to prevent Abraham from harming his son.  God is satisfied and pleased with Abraham’s obedience.  The world is given a tremendous example of both obedience and trust in God.

Some years ago, a Carmelite nun, who was a fine poetess—her name was Jessica Powers—wrote a poem comparing the sacrifice of Abraham with that of our Blessed Mother.  I find it a very moving poem for meditation.  The last stanza says, as if Our Lady were speaking:

Not beside Abram does my story set me,

I built the altar, laid the wood for flame;

I staid my sword and sorrow as long as duty let me,

And then, alas, alas, no angel came.

Thank you for allowing God to love you, God bless you.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.



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