By Brother Michael Livaudais, FSC
This Sunday’s liturgy contains one of my favorite (and dramatic) Genesis stories: Abraham’s test of faith (Genesis 22:1-18.)
In learning about the text, I read that this specific reading has been food for thought, not only in the Christian tradition, but in all of world literature.
Mary McGlone writes that we make a mistake if we focus on Isaac and his trauma (as terrible as it is), but that our reflection/light should shine instead on the test of faith that Abraham is confronted with.
She continues: “God called to Abraham who responded, “Here I am,” literally, “Behold me.” She further explains “Behold me” could proclaim, “See, I am here to do anything you command.” McGlone says that in effect that God made Abraham a promise. Now, do you (Abraham) love me enough to give it all back? Isaac is spared, and Abraham proves his total faith in Yahweh.
In thinking about our vocations and this reading, there may be some common threads. Surely none of us is being asked to offer up our lives as a holocaust, or to offer up to God our children or loved ones.
Rather, think on this: our creator has given us all: our lives, our talents, our struggles, our triumphs, With our vocations, we have an opportunity to ‘give it all back.’
Certainly, Christian Brothers pledge their all in giving their lives in community. A life attempting (through education) to transform lives and touch hearts is worthy pay-back to our creator. “Behold me. See, I am here to do anything you command.”
How will we respond to the challenge?