Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
On the mountain you can see the Lord
… God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Ready!” he replied. Then God said: “Take your son Isaac … you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you. …Abraham …took …his son Isaac, and … set out for the place… Abraham got sight of the place from afar. Then he said to his servants: “Both of you stay here … while the boy and I go on over yonder …Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. “Father!” he said …. where is the sheep for the holocaust?” “Son,” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust.”… Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the Lord’s messenger called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. “Do not lay your hand on the boy,” …I know now how devoted you are to God …, As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. So he went and took the ram and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son. Abraham named the site … “On the mountain the Lord will see.” Gn 22,1-14
The one who answers: “Ready!” to the divine plan on him is tried out like Abraham. When the Lord called him, he told him: “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” (Gn 12,1-2). Abraham had trusted the Lord and had departed along with his wife Sarah and his herds. Sarah, however, being advanced in the years, could not have children and Abraham had complained against the Lord: “I keep on being childless” (Gn 15,2). And the Lord answered him: “Look up at the sky and count the stars …Just so… shall your descendants be” (Gn 15,5). After a few years, in fact, Sara generated Isaac.
Since then the fulfillment of the promise for Abraham had assumed the real face of Isaac. When the Lord blesses a man, however, it can often happen that the faith in the Lord is tranferred to the received gifts. This was the situation when the Lord decided to test Abraham out and says to him: “Take your son Isaac …..you shall offer him up as a holocaust”. He remains at that time incredulous, it seems impossible that the Lord wants to take back what he gave him, but then, like the today reading narrates, he does everything he was asked for by the Lord and he finds again the faith he always had. Finally, when Abraham is about to raise his hand on the son, God stops him and instead of Isaac a ram is sacrificed. And the Scriptures add: “On the mountain the Lord will see”. This phrase has been for centuries a symbol of the most blind faith. Even today it is easy to become fond of the received gifts forgetting the Lord. Then he, for our well being, puts the things right, as in the today passage. This happened to me when I entered in politics with the purpose to make fruithful the gained experiences and the received talents. At a certain point the Lord made things so messed up such that I was forced to retire. The Lord fills us by gifts, but only for his project.