Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

God’s ways are not our ways: the prophet Isaiah is crystal clear about that. God’s ways are often a puzzle to us. Sometimes they are an excruciating puzzle.

Abraham and Sarah were childless. God worked a miracle for them, giving them a child of promise, Isaac. And then – God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. That this story has deep resonances with human sacrifice, and the end of human sacrifice in Israel, is really beside the point. The point seems to be that God can ask the impossible of us, even if that means asking the very opposite of what would seem to make sense to us. And that includes reversing what He had earlier given!

And yet, having tested Abraham, God rescinded His order. He was faithful to His promise of the child, but now He knew that Abraham loved God even more than this beloved child of promise. That is, Abraham loved the Giver more than the Gift, and was ready to surrender the gift, even at his own hands, if the Giver required it.

Much further in the story, God will place His beloved only Son in the hands of the human race. And there will be no substitute ram in the bushes. But God will raise Him up from the dead, by His power alone, opening the door to a reality beyond our wildest dreams. God’s ways are not our ways. Praise God for that!

July 2nd, 2015