March 8, 2020
As Abraham had a personal call from God, we too are being called to a journey of faith and hope. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, God will be able to do abundantly more for us than what we could possibly ask.
- There is often a weight of yearning and discouragement that we can carry as we get older from not accomplishing a fulfilled fruitful life.
- We can’t imagine the joy and the glory that God wants to give us. God wants to fill us with GOD.
- As with Abraham, God calls us to begin a journey and to leave behind all that we know and are accustomed to. We are to obey God by faith.
- Abraham realized that the promised land was beyond his human life and that his true home was in heaven and of God.
- Jesus is the descendent of Abraham and is the source of all blessings.
- If we respond to the Lord with faith and trust, He will fulfill the deepest desires that He Himself placed in our hearts.
During lent, the first readings show the great stages that lead up to Jesus. And today it speaks of Abram. Father talks about three stages and what happens to Abraham. The first is the revelation from God, then his response for that revelation, and then what results from that revelation. The Lord said to Abraham, go from your country, your kindred, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. That’s the revelation which is both a promise and a call. By faith, Abraham obeyed. When he was called to go out to a place that which he was to receive as an inheritance, he went out not knowing where he was going. And then comes the blessing. Therefore, from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore, but as St. Paul says, above all this descendant of Abraham is Jesus Christ.
And so, what does this mean for us? It means that God wants to give us also a descendant, a spiritual descendant, our fruitfulness, our glory, beyond anything that we can imagine, to fulfill the deepest desires that He Himself has placed in our hearts. And no matter what our current situation is, if we respond to the Lord with faith, with trust in Him, He can bring about this divine marvel in your life. With Abraham and with an even greater example of faith and fruitfulness which is our Blessed Mother, this is an invitation to realize that God is also calling you. Each one of us has a personal call from God. And God is asking us also, in this call, to this journey of faith and hope.
God spoke to Abram. During lent the first readings we have shows the great stages that led up to Jesus. And today it speaks of Abram. But what do you care about Abraham? Some guy who lived 4000 years ago? What does that have to do with your life today? One thing is that Abraham has a key role. Abraham’s story, and a lot of details is different from your life. But the Lord is speaking to Abraham is revealing also some of the essential secrets, mysteries of your own life. So I wanted to focus on those. First of all, the situation that the reading starts with, Abraham is old, about 75 years old when this happens. And there’s something that he’s yearning for. but he’s lost hope in it. He and Sarah have not been able to have any children. And so this intense, I imagine a sadness, deep sadness in him, because it’s too late now, there’s no hope for having children. And that speaks to maybe the situation for all of us, maybe wanting to have children. Or maybe we might have a children’s conversion, or many other things, that especially as we grow older, many other disappointments, or even heartbreaks in our life. Things that wanting a life that may be also that seems more fruitful, a life that seems more important, a life that is making more of a difference. Leaving a true legacy. And it seems like now, as we get older, it is too late, it’s not going to happen. There’s often this weight of yearning and discouragement that we can carry as we get older. So in that situation, it can refer to all of us. I want to look at three stages and what happens to Abraham. The first is revelation, and then revelation from God, then his response for that revelation. And then what results from that revelation, his response, and then the result. So, Abraham, at 75 years old, just minding his own business and suddenly, a surprise, God speaks to him. We don’t know what was happening before that, but suddenly, and we don’t know how God spoke to him, how Abraham perceived that, but God speaks to him. And it makes him an extreme promise to this Abraham, who is not able to have children. He says, “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. And by you, all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” So suddenly, the Lord has announced to Abraham, an unimaginable blessing that seems completely impossible that is humanly, completely impossible. There’s no way that Abraham or any other human power could do this. What does that have to do with you? Because also to you, God is revealing a great promise of what he wants to give you. And it’s so great that you can’t imagine it. St. Paul says, “what eye has not seen, what ear has not heard, nor the heart of man even conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” What God has prepared, what God wants to give you. And St. Paul to the Ephesians says, God, by the power at work within us, is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask, or think, than all able to do more than you can even think of. We talked about that old phrase, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Except when it’s about God. Because God is way beyond even what we could even hope for. And Saint Paul then goes on to say that you may be filled, how much, that you may be filled. How much does God want to fill you? He says with all fullness of God. That’s what St. Paul says, that God wants to fill you with all the fullness of God. We can’t even imagine the joy and the glory that God wants to give. But God doesn’t just reveal this promise to Abraham. There’s also a call, a demanding call. The Lord said to Abraham, go from your country, and your kindred, and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. So Abraham is 75 years old, has been told and your this is way back then that where knowledge and transportation all that was very difficult, he’s being told to go, leave everything, leave the land that he’s known, leave all his relatives, leave the house where he’s grown up, leave all of that. But that’s a place where he is so that he’s known that he’s in a notable figure, and go where? The Lord says, I’ll show you. You don’t know where you’re going, I’ll show you. And so what does that have to do with us? The Lord has asked, also calling you to begin a journey to a land that He will show you, to a new place that He will show you, which means leaving behind what we’ve been doing up till now, leaving behind what we’re used to, what we know, our human ways, our human place. So that’s the revelation, which is both a promise and a call. Then there’s Abraham’s response. I’ll be quoting from the letter to the Hebrews, which talks about Abraham. It says, The Lord said to Abraham, go from your country, and your kindred, and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. Obedience sounds like a dirty word to us. But Abraham, obeys God by faith, Abraham obeyed. When he was called, to go out to a place that which he was to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. So Abraham is believing what would be called today, a private revelation, a personal revelation to him. It doesn’t say the Lord gave him any proof. He can’t prove to anyone that God had called him. So he’s making an extreme act of faith to believe what he has perceived that the Lord is saying to him. And if people ask, well, where are we going? What’s he going to say? I don’t know. Okay, we’re all gonna leave, I’m taking all my household, we’re gonna leave and probably never be coming back. Okay, well, where are we going? Well, I don’t know where we’re going. I think God will guide us because I think He called. So this is an extreme act of an obedience of faith. And then comes and this is important, then comes a long trial. This is not an easy thing. God has called Abraham to something beyond his imagining, but the path is long and difficult. The Scripture is very realistic about that, long and difficult. So the years go by one year, two years, three years, four years, five years. No, no, no, no descendants. Abraham is now 80 years old. And then he’s 85 years old, and then he is 90 years old and is 95 years old, and no, no sign of a descendant. At one point Sara gets impatient and she has him sleep with his servants, because she thinks maybe that’s why, because there’s no sign of God’s promise. And the letter to the Hebrews says, “By faith, Abraham sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob airs with him have the same promise, for he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Have you ever lived in a city which was built by God? No. I mean, not San Antonio, not New Braunfels, not Startzville. Built by God so that there’s something divine. So they realize that the land that they’re in the Palestine, that’s not really where God is calling them to. That’s not at something way beyond that. And the letter to Hebrews goes on to say, all of these died in faith, not having received what was promised. So, even when Abraham died, he still hasn’t received this. But he doesn’t give up hope, because he realizes that what he is waiting for, is beyond this life. It says, but they having seen it, and greeted it from afar. So he had some sense of this greeter from afar, he doesn’t possess it. But he has hope, in what God is going to give him. And having acknowledged that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth. So realizing that here, this is not their city, this is not their, home, this is just a journey. They’re just going through this time. There were some billionaires who, tried to make plans to freeze themselves at the moment of their death, so that later on, they can be resurrected, maybe not resurrect a bit and frozen, the thought, you know, put in that, and maybe that, you know, maybe they will be in better shape then. But what a sad thing to be trying to hold on this poor life, when God wants to give us something infinitely better. And it says, “For people who speak does make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, a better home. This is not our home. Our soul, our heart is made for a better home, it says, one that is of heaven, of God. It’s that God is preparing us our true home. And that’s why this earth is always painful. And so there’s the beginning of an accomplishment. Finally at 100 years old, 25 years later, Abraham conceives with Sarah, Isaak and then comes this great trial, the sacrifice. The letter to the Hebrews says, “By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac and he who had received the promises, was ready to offer up his only begotten son.” You know, this didn’t make any sense. The Lord had promised and finally 25 years later, 100 years old, finally a son, and then the Lord asked him to offer him up. We know that the Lord didn’t permit him to go through with that. The son of whom it was said, through Isaak shall your descendants be named. He considered that God was able to raise men up, even from the dead. He believed that God was able to raise up even from the dead. Hence he did receive him back. And this was a symbol that has Isaac, the son, this father, willing to offer up his beloved son, Isaac is a symbol of God, the Father will offer for our salvation, his own son. And so but so God has made this great promise to Abraham, but he has called him and Abraham’s response is what leads him on this journey of faith, in hoping against hope, this long and difficult journey. And that’s what this life is. And then comes the blessing. Therefore, from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants, as many as the stars of heaven, and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. And so not only the chosen people and all the chosen people to Moses, and all the rest who have come, were through Abraham, but as St. Paul says, above all this descendant of Abraham is Jesus Christ. God Himself become flesh is born, as a descendant of Abraham, and in the descendant of Abraham, is the source of all blessings. And so Jesus is the great descendant of Abraham. And in Jesus, Abraham becomes the father of all who believe, and so also a spiritual father for us. And so God gives Abraham not just to Isaac, large, physical, biological descendant gives them an infinitely more important descendants, through Jesus and all those who are blessed in Jesus. And so what does this mean for us? It means that God wants to give us also a descendant, a spiritual descendant, our fruitfulness, our glory, beyond anything that we can imagine, to fulfill the deepest desires that He Himself has placed in our hearts. And no matter what our current situation is, if we respond to the Lord, with faith, with trust in Him, He can bring about this divine marvel in your life. And so in conclusion, today with Abraham, and with an even greater example, of faith and fruitfulness, which is our Blessed Mother, this is an invitation to realize that God is also calling you. Each one of us has a personal call from God. And God is asking us also, in this call, to this journey of faith and hope, which is difficult. It requires a lot of perseverance, we’ve often spoken about the long desert. But if we respond, with the help of the Holy Spirit, with the help of God’s grace, then, as St. Paul says, again, God is able to do far more abundantly in you than all that you could ask, or even think of. God, as St. Paul says, has chose you, before the foundation of the world. And so if you’d like to for this final part, if you’d like to close your eyes and listen to these words, of St. Paul, trying to express what God is preparing for you. “May the eyes of your heart be enlightened, that you may know, what is the hope, to which He has called you? What are the riches of His glorious inheritance with the saints? And what is that immeasurable greatness of His power and us, that is God’s power, working on us to believe according to the working of His great might, that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height and depth and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge. That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” With all the longing that there is in our hearts, God wants to fill you with all the infinite fullness of He Himself.