Friday, March 6, 2015

Oh, to have the faith of Abraham

So here we are, nearing the end of another week of Lent. Let us hearken back to the First Reading from last Sunday, the Second Sunday of Lent:
  1After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 2He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." 

And of course we all know the end of the story: Abraham obeyed and was rewarded for his obedience. It seems like such a simple and logical lesson: God is good. God can be trusted. We should not find it difficult to obey a good and trustworthy God. And yet...

We could certainly envision/rewrite many scenes from Scripture to mirror our own lives:

After these things God tested Mrs. Pinkerton, and said to her, "Mrs. Pinkerton!" And she said, "Sheesh Lord, can't you see I'm busy... what do you want now?" He said, "Take your ______,  your only ______, which you love, and go to the land of Wherever, and offer him/her/it/them there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. And Mrs. Pinkerton replied: Do I have to?" 

How would I fill in the blanks? What do I love? Too many things, as it turns out: 

period dramas
clothes (SHOES)
new kitchen stuff
my DVD collection
fan mail
FreeCell (substitute your own pointless time-wasting online/phone/app game here)
cool furniture
watching TV
vintage kitchen stuff
sleeping in
antique furniture
carnal pleasure
the esteem of others
pretensions to a writing career
people (to be sure)
but not all people
rum & vodka coolers
wasting time online (Facebook, reading blogs, etc)
my Breville kitchen mixer
a certain type of body image

As the homilist said at last Sunday's Mass, the point is not to live in fear that God will ask us to do something intrinsically evil (such as killing our children), but simply to ask ourselves how quick we are to be obedient to the many ordinary sacrifices, large and small, that God may ask of us. Lent is such a great time to take stock and rearrange one's priorities. May the Lord bless your day, give you strength, and reward your sacrifices. 

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