Excerpt from, Lent With the Saints: Daily Reflections, © Greg Friedman, OFM
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Psalm 27: 1, 7-8a, 8b – 9, 13-14; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:28b-36
In Lent we read stories about Abraham – the description of God’s covenant with him and the story of his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, for example. These stories have undergone a long process of telling and retelling. Many hands have worked over these stories, for theological purposes.
Nevertheless, the stories communicate the common understanding we share about Abraham; that is, his strong faith in God. We marvel at this man’s willingness to trust in God so much that he would undertake a long, difficult journey to seek a land and a heritage promised by God. Though separated by millennia and by different cultures, we are yet the children of Abraham.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus confronts his opponents who claim that inheritance but hail to go beyond paying lip-service to it. Lent is all about renewing our faith in God through Jesus Christ, his Son.
May we use our Lenten immersion in the stories of faith as opportunities to allow God to strengthen and challenge that faith, as God did for Abraham. May we share our stories of faith with those entering the church this season.
Visit a local mosque during Lent and ask about the stories and figures we share with Muslims. If there isn’t a mosque nearby, read about Islam and learn more about these connections.
All-merciful God, worshiped by the People of the Book, may we imitate our father Abraham in fidelity, trusting where you would lead us. Amen.
Fr. Greg Friedman, OFM, is a media producer and author of Advent With the Saints: Daily Reflections. He is host of American Catholic Radio, a program syndicated on Catholic radio stations nationwide. In 2009 his film Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in faith With Francis and Clare appeared on PBS. Fr. Greg is also pastor of an inner-city parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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