Wednesday, June 29, 2005



JUNE 30, 2005

GENESIS 22:1B-19
God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, "Abraham!" "Here I
am," he replied. Then God said: "Take your son Isaac, your only one,
whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer
him up as a burnt offering on a height that I will point out to you."
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey, took with him his
son Isaac, and two of his servants as well, and with the wood that he
had cut for the burnt offering, set out for the place of which God
had told him. On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from
afar. Then he said to his servants: "Both of you stay here with the
donkey, while the boy and I go on over yonder. We will worship and
then come back to you." Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the burnt
offering and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders, while he himself
carried the fire and the knife. As the two walked on together, Isaac
spoke to his father Abraham: "Father!" he said. "Yes, son," he
replied. Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood, but where
is the sheep for the burnt offering?" "Son," Abraham answered, " God
himself will provide the sheep for the burnt offering." Then the two
continued going forward. When they came to the place of which God
had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on
it. Next he tied up his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on
the altar. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his
son. But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven, "Abraham,
Abraham!" "Here I am," he answered. "Do not lay your hand on the
boy," said the messenger. "Do not do the least thing to him. I know
now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me
your own beloved son." As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught
by its horns in the thicket. So he went and took the ram and offered
it up as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the site
Yahweh-yireh; hence people now say, "On the mountain the LORD will
see." Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and
said: "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you acted
as you did in not withholding from me your beloved son, I will bless
you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of
the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take
possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all
the nations of the earth shall find blessing-all this because you
obeyed my command.' Abraham then returned to his servants, and they
set out together for Beer-sheba, where Abraham made his home.

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own
town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a
stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the
paralytic, "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." At that, some of
the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." Jesus knew
what they were thinking, and said, "Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise
and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on
earth to forgive sins"- he then said to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up
your stretcher, and go home." He rose and went home. When the crowds
saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given
such authority to men.

One commentator calls the story of Abraham and Isaac a seismic event
in the history of religion. He says that the incident has a much
deeper meaning than Abraham's passing a test of faith.

The main focus of commentators and normally also of homilists, when
they speak of this incident, is placed on the test of faith with
which God confronts Abraham. He had promised Abraham that he would
make him the father of a great people, and that this would be
attained through his son Isaac. Abraham lived in the glow of this
promise. And now God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and therefore
to sacrifice also the descendants too numerous to count, that God had
promised him through Isaac.

Abraham, as you know, put his trust in God, obeyed him, arranging to
offer his son in sacrifice.

But the commentator says this is not the most significant meaning of
this incident. Somewhere, he says, in the middle of Abraham's
transition from his ancestral paganism to belief in the living God, a
revelation came to him that he was not to sacrifice his son. From
this moment onward, human sacrifice would never more have a
legitimate place in Israel's dealings with God.

This is an extraordinary fact. For the pagan world in the midst of
which Israel lived, human sacrifice was a very normal way of winning
the favor of the deity.

At one moment in history, God revealed to Abraham that under no
circumstances is human sacrifice to be practiced in the worship of
Yahweh. It took many centuries for the rest of the world to come to
the realization that human sacrifice as an act of religious worship
is wrong. But how much longer would it have taken the world to
recognize the evil of human sacrifice, had Yahweh not revealed to
Abraham that he was not to offer his son Isaac in sacrifice to God?

One of the great gifts God has given to us Christians is the
magnificent history and tradition of the Jewish people. Abraham is
not only their father he is ours also. For this we must be eternally

"Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring
healing and restoration to body, soul, and mind. May your healing
power and love touch every area of my life -- my innermost thoughts,
feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offences and transform
me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in
your truth and righteousness."

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- In thanksgiving for the healing of Maria Alyssa Martina Balingit.
- for the eternal repose of the souls of Cristina, Rosvie & Aljohn.
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
- for the special intention of Genesis P. Uichanco.
- for the healing and recovery of Mommy Tuazon.
- for the speedy recovery of Ernest Hernandez.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Mariano Tan Tian Sang (+)
- Birthday: Tessie Ching
- Wedding Anniversary: Robin & Angel Roque
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

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