Reflection on the Daily Readings for 6/22/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture for the 4th Monday (12th week). Genesis 12:1-9. Psalm 33:12-13.
18-19.20.22. Matthew 7:1-5. Lectionary # 371:
Chapters 1-11 of Genesis are the ancient traditional stories of the
nations. Then comes the Call of Abraham which is the story of the Ancestors
of Israel. The story of Abraham's call is what we open with today and there
is much to learn from it. The passage in Hebrew for worship in the
synagogue is called "LEKH L'KHA literally it means "betake thyself" or in
ordinary language "Get up and go!" and this all happened when Abram later
to be Abraham was 75 years old! "A midrash interprets this to mean,"Go
forth to find your authentic self, to learn who you are meant to
be." (Torah Commentary from Etz Hayim, Tree of Life, p.70). Abram thus,
after ten generations of silence, takes leave and sets forth toward the
promised land. Chapters 1-11 show the results of Adam and Eve's
disobedience; this recapitulates into a new creative calling in Abram and
Sarah who will show all peoples how to respond to God's call.
With the call and the response of Abram, a series of reversals from what
happened in the initial chapters of Genesis is now on a new journey that
begins with absolute faith and trust in God on the part of Abram and his
wife Sarah. God is giving new blessings that will be seen in a promised
land, a progeny, and a covenant of loving-kindness. The Jewish Study Bible
sums up verses 1-9: "In Genesis ch.12, these extraordinary promises come
like a bolt from the blue, an act of God's grace alone; no indication has
been given as to why or even whether Abram merits them." Thuse we have a
new and ineffable act of God working in Abram and leading him to be the
father and ancestor of all who believe in the living and personal God of
Israel. Jesus once said that "salvation comes from the Jews." (John 4:22).
The whole verse is "You people worship what you do not understand, while we
understand what we worship; after all, salvation is from the Jews."
We will follow the life of Abraham in our continuous readings and learn of
his great act of obedience even when he thinks he is to sacrifice his son.
This is not intended by God, but is the way the inspired writer shows us
the total obedience of the servant of God called Abraham. God is always
kind and merciful. Abraham now has confirmed his faith and trust in the
living God. Amen.
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