There was a meeting for families one evening, and many of them came to Mass afterward. I was lector, and looked out at the congregation full of families with young children, and read… “Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.” Good grief, I felt like the evening news. I knew the reading before I came to Mass, but it wasn’t until I got to the ambo that I saw the kids. So, the reading continues that the angel said stop, they got the ram, and sacrificed it instead, but I was aghast proclaiming that reading to these little ones. At that moment, the Church’s wisdom of this scripture, in the Lectionary, was escaping me…
I had some precious souls, dear to my heart and in dire need, on my mind. I was filled with worry for them, trying to “fix” things that were out of my control. My spiritual director told me that I can’t fix this, it’s not within my power. Only God and those involved can remedy this.
I couldnt let my concern for them, drown me. So, every day at Mass I spiritually lay them on the altar. In my mind I visualize me placing and leaving them there. I realize this isn’t quite the same as Abraham and Isaac. There are no raised blades here, but there is surrender and sacrifice. I am surrendering my control, or at least the control that I think I possess. I am sacrificing my will for them, and asking for my Father’s will. I am returning them to the Creator, because only He can “fix” their mind, body or heart. I am entrusting them to a God, Who loves them perfectly, unlike my ability to love. I am placing them on the altar and not at the foot of the cross, because it is an abandonment of my desire, to relinquish to His. It is an offering.
Today, I am grateful for this choice in the Lectionary, this lesson of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham taught me how to trust God with something that is most precious. Because of Abraham, I am learning peace.