Abraham is our father in faith. He is a model, an example of trust in the Lord – an example that is repeatedly put before us. I don’t know whether you heard during today’s scripture reading that Abraham cried out with a loud cry to the Lord? His suffering made him almost scream: “Lord God, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?”
And Abraham is not satisfied with saying this alone. He quickly repeats his cry: “Abram continued, ‘Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir’.” But despite his pain, shouted out directly to the Lord, Abraham still continues to believe and trust in God. The outcome is disappointing: he has no direct descendants.
Faced with this crisis in Abraham’s life, and faced with the crises, the difficulties, the grief, and the sufferings that are part of each of our lives too, God always renews his promise of a relationship to both Abraham and to us. “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield.” What matters is not so much what God will give to Abraham but who He will be – in fact, who He already is for Abraham.
This is the heart of the promise: being in relationship. What matters is not so much what God gives us, but who He is. Indeed, God is not just for us, but he is also with us, and above all in us. This intense and deep relationship with God is our opportunity for life.
By being rooted in this relationship, we can trust and continue to believe, and in spite of appearances to the contrary, we can live. It is from this relationship that our lives will bring forth goodness, will be able to endure, and will produce good fruits.
Today we remember the witness of faith of St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, who said: “The glory of God is the human person fully alive; and the vision of God is life for the human person.”
The sole true possibility of life for us consists in this: seeing God (without necessarily having visions), and discovering His presence in our lives by seeing and perceiving his action in us, with us, for us, and around us – experiencing his tangible love, his real mercy, and his tireless fidelity,.
Lord, may we protect our relationship with you and grow in it.
Support our trust in your presence at work in our midst
And grant that, rooted in love, we may bring forth good fruit.
Amatrice, Italy, June 28, 2017