Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
April 14th, 2011
Maryanne Rouse

College of Business Administration
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent
[254] Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
John 8:51-59

In today’s First Reading, God tells Abram, soon to be Abraham, of the covenant that He will make with him and his descendents, a “whole host of nations.”  “I will render you exceedingly fertile…kings shall stem from you.” Quite a promise to a man up in years with a barren wife and one adopted son, Ishmael, by his wife’s maid-servant!

Further in Genesis, God outlines one of the conditions of this covenant: circumcision.  In response, Abraham brought together all the males on his household including himself and Ishmael, then 13, and they were circumcised, not a particularly simple procedure for men of an “age.”  Certainly not something they had envisioned, I would imagine.  Yet, the covenant that God had proposed required it. (Recall what a major decision it was later to allow uncircumcised males into the Christian community.)

Plus the basic condition: staying true to a belief in and worship of the One True God.

How many covenants do we enter? Agreements more encompassing than a contract with its specificity about who will do what, when and how.  In my life I think of four, the covenants with my husband and three children.

The initial specifics were simple: “To have and to hold… until death do you part.”  Were we able to foresee what that might mean in the living out of it?  Or course not.  Have we been blessed with grace and support when the unimaginable occurred? Yes, indeed.

And so it is with God and us: Through our Christian Baptism, we have been welcomed into this covenant.  Lent offers the invitation to take time to reflect on how God and I have done with the promises given. 

If you do not share the Christian tradition and are reading this, I offer a suggestion to spend a bit of time in reflection about the promises that you and the God of your tradition have made.

May God bless our prayer with a greater awareness of God’s love and fidelity and an increase in our loving response!

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