Scripture: 1st Reading: Gen17,1,9-10,15-22; Resp. Psalm: Ps128,1-5; Gosp. Accl.: Mt8,17; Gospel: Mt8,1-4
God had an amazing love for Abram. This was because of Abram's faithfulness to God. God loved Abram for his deep attachment to Him. God was going to continue to be faithful, loving and protecting with regards to Abram. On his part, Abram was to keep God's covenant, walk before God and be blameless.
In today's word, God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants after him. The sign of that covenant was the circumcision of every male child. God also changed the name of Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Serah. God promised by His eternal oath that He would bless Serah by giving her a son. He promised that Serah would be a mother of nations, that kings of peoples shall come from her.
The mighty God promised that he would cancel the disappointment of barrenness in the lives of Abraham and Serah his wife. This was when Abraham was already ninety-nine years old and Serah his wife was ninety years old! For Abraham, this was completely impossible and that was why he asked if the realization of the promise could come through Ishmael, his son through Haggar, the slave woman.
Abraham had forgotten where and how God started with him. He had forgotten that the power of God could make the impossible to become possible. He had not yet known fully that the mighty God is God, in heaven above and on earth beneath. Yahweh told Abraham that Ishmael would be the father of nations but that the promise would come through Isaac, the child that Serah would bear for him.
Isaac would be the child through whom the covenant would be firmly established. It is important to note here that God was speaking of this child as if the child had already been born. God was calling the name of the child as if the child was already conceived! In the mind of Abraham, the child was not yet a reality; in the mind of the living God, the promise had already been fulfilled and the request granted.
Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord! Thus shall be blessed the man who walks in his ways! Such a man shall continue to prosper, his family like a fruitful vine, his children like shoots of olive! God would fulfil His promises to Abraham. God would bring joy into the life of His servant.
Our Lord, the Son of God, would give us practical proof of this time and again during His earthly ministry. In today's gospel, he would heal a leper who demonstrated great faith in Him. The leper told our Lord that if He would, He could heal him. Our Lord confirmed the faith of this leper by healing him and bringing joy into his life. He removed him from the land of the dead into the land of the living.
God is still God, living, just and true. Our God does not sleep. What we need to have in moments of great difficulties and crisis is fidelity! We need that staying power to remain focused and not be deterred. We need to be single minded in those moments and remain steadfast despite what people would interpret as the impossibility of our situation. God is still God. God still works. God still changes the direction of people's lives. Let us cling to Him.
Let us pray: Lord our God, you made a covenant of love with Abraham and rewarded his faith in you. You turned his sorrow into joy. Stay with us in our moments of trials and difficulties. Let us experience your healing and comforting presence. Turn our sorrows into joy. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.