Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

The faithfulness of the Lord

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre … while the day was growing hot. Looking up, he saw three men … When he saw them, he ran … to greet them; … he said: “Sir, …please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree … let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves …” Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, “Quick, three seahs of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.” Then he got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before them … and they ate. One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” Sarah was listening … laughed to herself and said, “Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old, am I still to have sexual pleasure?” But the Lord said to Abraham: … Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? …” Gn 18,1-14

The major characters in the history of salvation are a model due to their virtues: Abraham is this because of the faith. He is the man of God’s promise: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you” (Gn12,1-2). Then, after Abram had arrived in the land of Canaan, the Lord appeared to him again and said: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Gn 12,7). Abraham walked for years being God silent and basing upon that promise, but when he was already elderly he suffered a small drop of faith: ” O Lord God…. I keep on being …. childless”.  God replied: “Your own issue shall be your heir…… Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can count. Just so…..shall your descendant be” (Gn 15,1-5). At that point, Abraham and his wife Sara had another fall of faith: rather than trusting heavily on the promise of God, they decided to take action. Since Sarah was old, Abraham, with her consent, made pregnant the slave Hagar and Ishmael was born, who, incidentally, is the promise son for the Muslims. It happened to Abraham and it happens
to everyone to become weakened in the faith and to hasty take action, but God remains anyway faithful to his promise. Indeed, he often intervenes in our life after bringing the man to lose almost his faith after a long wait, because it is clear that he is faithful because he is God, not due to the faith of the man. After all these events, which the book of Genesis narrates in the today’s reading “The Lord appeared to him [Abraham] at the Oaks of Mamre”, together with two angels in the guise of wayfarers. Abraham, who was a generous and hospitable person, welcomed him consequently and the Lord, after being refreshed, renewed the promise of a son, but Sarah, who was already old and had outrun the period of fertility, showed a laugh of disbelief. Abraham, then, was asked: “Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?”. The same question is today addressed to us.

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