Saint Stephen's Statue.

ST. STEPHEN'S

CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

12, Gbeto Street, Off Iwaya Road, Onike-Iwaya, Yaba-Lagos.
info@ststepheniwaya.org

Saint Stephen's Building.
 

 

 

Scripture: 1st Reading: Gen12,1-9; Resp. Psalm: Ps33,12-13,18-20,22; Gosp. Accl.: Heb4,12; Gospel: Mt7,1-5

AbrahamThe call of Abraham is one of the most fascinating stories ever told. The word of God does not tell us that Abraham had a foreknowledge of the living and true God. We are not told that before God called him, Abraham had any relationship with the One who called him. The word of God this stressed the mysterious nature of this call, the first of its kind in the Bible up till this moment.

God called Abraham in order to begin a new season of engagement with the humanity He created in His own image and likeness. The entire conception and execution of the new relationship was totally in the hands of Yahweh. He called Abraham, told him to go from his country, his kindred and father's house, that is, to turn his back to the life he had known up till that time.

God asked Abraham to leave the known for the unknown, comfort for uncertainties, security for possible dangers! He asked him to leave his country without telling him where He was leading him, to make Abraham understand that the cards were to be plated by Him alone! Abraham was never the one in charge. Yahweh his God was. So, Abraham must begin to learn very early that the man of faith must depend totally on Yahweh.

If Abraham heeded the voice of Yahweh, whom ostensibly he had not known well up till this moment, Yahweh promised to make him a great nation. He promised to bless him, make his name great, so that he would be a blessing. Yahweh promised to bless those who blessed Abraham and curse those who cursed him. He also promised that through and by Abraham, all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.

The word of God tells us that the response of Abraham was immediate. Abraham did not question the veracity of this voice that spoke to him. Abraham was certain it was the voice of the God of heaven and earth. Abraham trusted. Abraham obeyed and left everything for nothing! That is unqualified, unabridged faith!

Having obeyed and left Haran with his wife and nephew and their possessions, Yahweh promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants. Yahweh was never to be outdone in generosity. Yahweh was going to repay Abraham for his faith and trust and fidelity.

Abraham responded to this awesome predilection and privilege by building an altar to his God and calling on the name of the Lord. Yahweh was going to maintain His part of the pact; Abraham too was not going to be found wanting in responding generously to his own commitment.

From this moment till the end of his eventful life, Yahweh would be for Abraham the be all and end all; Yahweh would be the foundation of his entire life; Yahweh would be on the driver's seat and lead him; Yahweh would be his only portion and lot. Abraham would not just assent to this mentally; his entire life would henceforth bear testimony to this conviction.

Abraham would be so guided by the will of Yahweh that he would lose his own will. Abraham would totally surrender all to Yahweh, his will, aspirations, intellect, understanding, everything! Abraham would lose himself in order to gain himself. For him, faith in Yahweh and the conduct of life would be completely one, without any dichotomy.

This coherence between faith and the conduct of life is what our Lord would hammer on much later. In today's gospel, our Lord condemned the hypocrisy of those who would judge but refuse to be judged by the same standards or measures they had used in judging others. Our Lord called people of this kind hypocrites! This is because "for with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get."

Abraham understood the over-riding importance of faith and life. He understood the fact that the worship of Yahweh must be complemented with the conduct of one's life. He lived and authentic life in the presence of his maker. He was rewarded for this. This is what the word calls us to today. We are challenged once again to think of the immediacy of Abraham's faith. We are invited to imitate him in his total "yes" to the will of God.

Let us pray: God our heavenly Father, you called Abraham our father in faith and led him to a country he had not known. You rewarded his faith in you by giving him land he did not own. Give us your grace to imitate his life of faith. Come to us so that our faith can reflect in our way of life. Amen.

May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. May this be a truly blessed week for you.

 

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