By Karen Sheehy
Father Abraham, how did you do it? How did you stay focused on the divine when everyone had forgotten the God of their Fathers, the God who created the heavens and the earth? How did you find the courage to leave your home and journey on the road less traveled towards an unknown promised land? How did you surrender your son, Isaac, as an offering to that same God, the God who took you from your land and lead you through strife and hardship? Abraham, my father in faith, instruct me in your ways of unwavering faith in the one all-knowing, all-powerful and merciful God.
I think, as Christians in the modern world, we tend to over inflate and over analyze the challenges of accepting and believing in God. After all, we have the advantage of approaching a God who was revealed in the flesh by His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. As members of His Church, we benefit from over two-thousand years of written and oral tradition, ensured and guarded by the Holy Spirit, which teaches about the coming, death and resurrection of Jesus or God incarnate. On the historical testimony of many, we find our certitude, as Christians, and the hope of our future entry into the promised land of heaven. Additionally, we stand on the shoulders of countless Saints and martyrs who willingly chose death because of their faith in the resurrection awaiting all who place their trust in Christ.
With these many revealed advantages, why do we, as moderns, still find it so difficult to believe? This is a mystery, a personal and mysterious leap of faith which still comes down to just one question: do you believe, like our father Abraham, in the mercy of God and the resurrection to new life? Like Abraham, we too may receive visions, personal messages, or signs pointing us towards God’s love and power. But, just like him, we may find ourselves alone, in quiet longing, awaiting the fulfillment of promises offered in exchange for our humble and faithful obedience. Just like Abraham, we may suffer or be asked to freely offer up one of our most treasured gifts. How do we respond? Do we give our unconditional yes or turn our backs on the one true God, the source of everlasting life? Despite these difficulties, do we willingly overcome our pride, self-determination, fear, or sorrow, and follow the Lord’s promptings? God’s ways are beyond our understanding. This is the greatest mystery of our time and the ultimate test of faith. It demands our willing surrender and acceptance of the unexplainable. To a modern, this seems foolish. To those who trust in God, it seems like the only way to live!
As a Christian and child of God, in fact, as a child of Abraham, I offer my loving obedience, for God has provided the lamb and everlasting sacrifice of atonement. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the source of my hope, obedience and steadfast devotion. To you, Oh God, I lift up my heart, and find the hope and blessings you offer to all who place their trust in You. Through my participation in the Mass, and my offering of thanks (Eucharist), I long, like Abraham, to become a blessing for myself, my descendants, and all the nations. This Sunday at Mass, I offer up my thanks to Father Abraham and his descendant, Jesus Christ, who taught me how to place my trust in God, the Father Almighty. Amen
About the Author:
Karen Sheehy is a devout Catholic, wife and mother, motivational speaker, blogger and developer of spiritualsafariguide.com, your passport to a world of spiritual inspiration and understanding. To learn more about Karen Sheehy and her upcoming book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, visit http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com