As we continue our reflection on the First Reading for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost and the story of Abraham we take note of those who have pointed out that Abraham was indeed rich in possessions when the Lord called him. Often we hold on to the erroneous conviction that possessions give us an assurance about life and the future. This is indeed the opposite of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel Reading for this Sunday (Luke 12:32-40): “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
Abraham’s journey begins in Genesis 12 where “the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you”. This is a most uncertain situation. His wealth and possessions could not match this uncertainty. But he trusted the Lord.
In the foreign land he did not know what the future held – at least not from what he had control of, including his possessions. And so he waited, and waited, for God’s voice.
My first two years in a parish, after seminary, were exciting and inspiring. Then the honeymoon was over and everything I tried met with opposition. At the same time I had opportunities to go somewhere else. Indeed, the difficulties I faced seemed to me to indicate that the Lord was telling me it was time to move. Yet, a mentor, in a far away land, kept reminding me: “Stay where you are until the Lord tells you to move”.
“Well, excuse me!” I thought, “but the Lord is right now telling me to move”. I was frustrated, angry and questioned God: “How long do you intend to keep me here? Do you see my suffering?” As I pointed our previously, Abraham was most probably frustrated by the uncertainty he faced. He most probably was angry at God. And, yes, it is alright because communication with God was open.
When one has nothing to hold on to but trust in God, one feels a lot of burden lifted away. In the poorest countries of the world, the people have nothing they can hold on to materially. They face uncertainty day and night. Their only hope is God.
With that they find relief and comfort. With that they are joyful.
- Not By Sight (wherelivingbegins.wordpress.com)
- Listening to God’s voice is the foundation of a relationship (joelmlayblog.wordpress.com)
- Count it All as Joy (agportraitsbydonnajones.wordpress.com)
- Geerhardus Vos (1862 – 1949) on Abraham’s faith (deovivendiperchristum.wordpress.com)