June 25, 2021
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 375

Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Matthew 8:1-4

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Collect Prayer for this Week

Our first reading is rather unusual: God is promising Abram something, even changes his name to “Abraham” (in a verse that the lectionary passes over), and only asks for the circumcision of all Abraham’s male descendants.  Abraham might prostrate himself before God, yet in response he laughs within himself at the idea of his elderly wife having another son.  God is clearly aware of this, and yet he says nothing before he departs. 

I remember myself as a baby, maybe 13-15 months old, when I would put everything in my mouth and so would have a very dirty and sticky face.  I would often hold a Cheerio tightly in my fist, or maybe a bit of cheese, and I would not allow anyone to take from me whatever it was that I held, no matter that I could see something fresher and nicer being offered to me.  I could not let go and open my hand to receive...

I think that in spite of all that God had done for Abram/Abraham, the patriarch could not believe in God’s unending love for him, God’s faithfulness and power, and so he had trouble letting go of his ideas of what God was able to do and so become able to praise God fully in gratitude.  He had to learn the faith that led him to the fortunately incomplete sacrifice of Isaac, that promised son, years later. 

I think that we might learn from Abraham’s mistake when God is asking for our trust and we cannot believe that what God is doing is really going to be good for us. 

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