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2nd Sunday in Lent 2024

Who knows more about love, someone who has had numerous partners, or a husband who has been faithful all his life to one wife; a wife in whose life there has only been this one husband? Do you know the answer?   It’s probably obvious. Or maybe not anymore? Someone might say – I know love, it’s when   I feel something special, when I need the other person, I want them, I must have them. That’s what a spoilt toddler feels too. He likes, he wants, and must have it. He is willing to hurt  even those closest to him just to get it.             What does he know about love?   About selfishness a lot more.  As long as we focus on ourself, we have no idea about love. Love is taught to us today by Abraham.                             He renounces everything, even his proximity   to his son. He shows how important trust is  in love. How many parents, when something happens to their children, blaspheme God?

It is true that they do not know what God’s plans are, the ‘what if’, that if they understood everything, they would bow their heads and admit: this is better.                                Abraham loved and trusted God, but he also loved his son.

He understood that the best thing he could do  for his child was to show obedience to God, even if neither of them understood what was actually happening, what the consequences would be.  The son, Isaac, does likewise. When he asks his father where the victim of sacrifice was, he probably knew what was next.                                                                      Sacrifices made of the son’s of chiefs were common in antiquity. If Isaac started to run, he would run away. The old man would not be able to catch up with the boy. Yet he trusts and goes on. They were not disappointed, God’s plans rewarded both  of them for this moment of trial.  You might be surprised – after all, God knew what was in them, He didn’t have to prove anything.  Why this scene? Clearly for the people.

Abraham, Isaac, their descendants, and you who are reading about it – everyone is meant to grasp the importance of sacrifice. Abraham is not sacrificing anyone. No harm is done to Isaac. He suffers himself, he sacrifices himself,  his happiness.   What is the biggest barrier between you and God? How often are you convinced that obeying God  is not right  , that you know better than Him what   is right and what is wrong?

Abraham sacrifices this too. He has no quarrel with God. He trusts him – and wins , not only for himself, but also for his son.   Reading centuries later about the events of Moria gives us a broader picture. God demands a lot from Abraham, but sacrifices much more himself.  The Son of Abraham remains safe precisely because the Son of God gives his life.                 It’s a huge comfort to anyone who, like Abraham, doesn’t know what’s coming next – keeping vigil   by the hospital bed, anxiously looking at the phone, expecting the worst news, dreading what’s to come.

It is true that the future is hidden from people. But the Cross of Christ is the hope that God loves you infinitely, that he is ready for you to make the greatest sacrifice. And that, like Abraham, you will find out – if you respond with love to love, with trust to God’s word – you will receive a reward many times greater than the trials you have gone through.