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By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Mar 8, 2009)
Readings: Gen 22:1-2, 9, 10-13, 15-18; Rom 8:31-34; Mk 9:2-10
"I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from Me your own beloved son." Gen 22:12
In today's first reading, we see that God put Abraham to the test by asking the unimaginable — the offering of his only son as a holocaust. For those of us who are parent or grandparents, the thought of purposely sacrificing a child goes against every parental instinct. Imagine for a moment the thoughts and emotions Abraham was experiencing when God called out to him! He must have been completely taken aback when he was asked to give up the very child through whom God's promise to him was to be fulfilled. How easy it would have been to doubt, or to second-guess God's plan. But he didn't.
Saint Faustina, too, wonderfully inspires us with her constant trust and acceptance of God's will. In the midst of tremendous physical suffering, and yet, "with profound peace of soul," she says, "Faithful submission to the will of God, always and everywhere, in all events and circumstances of life, gives great glory to God" (Diary of St. Faustina, 724).
The lives of Abraham, St. Faustina, and so many other saints, dramatically call us to examine our level of trust in God and our willingness to completely surrender to Him. How many of us are able to submit everything to God "in all events and circumstances of life"?
As you reflect on this reading, ask the Holy Spirit if there is anyone or anything that you prize more than God Himself and His will for your life. This could be your spouse, your children, your job, or even your savings account. Or maybe there is a circumstance in your life that you are having trouble accepting: perhaps an illness, job loss, or children who have fallen away from the faith. If God asked you today to give it to Him, could you do it? We must follow Abraham's example and withhold nothing from the Lord. Lent is an excellent time to turn everything over, with complete trust, to His providential care.
Lord, thank You for Abraham, our father in faith. Help me to trust in You like he did. Saint Faustina, please intercede for me, that I may have the grace to surrender all to Jesus. Amen.