Abraham, The Friend of God
The Lenten season provides many aspects to reflect upon. The first readings during this season will mention important characters like Abraham, Moses, and Joshua.
Let us say something about who Abraham is. During his life, Abraham exercised acts of faith. We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “To obey... in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God.... Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture” (CCC, 144). The works of Abraham were works of faithfulness living in response to the promises of God not yet realized.
Abram was brought by God from Ur of the Chaldeans to a promised and unknown land. God promised to Abraham that his descendants will be like the stars in the sky. He and his wife Sarai tried to fulfill this promise from God by their own way. Thus, Abram fathered Ishmael, through his concubine Hagar, but God's promised was not fulfill through Ishmael. God and Abram made a covenant, and God changed Abram's name for Abraham “father of a host of nations.” Then in his old age, Abraham and Sarah (Princess) conceived a son who was called Isaac. Years later, God tested again Abraham. Isaac was Abraham's beloved son, and God asked Abraham to sacrifice him. Abraham believed in God's promise, and he resolved to offer Isaac in sacrifice by faith. The angel of the Lord was sent to Abraham at the very moment of the sacrifice in order to prevent him for doing so. Isaac was returned to Abraham. Abraham's descendants will grow and will become a nation. This is a succinct summary of Abraham's story.
Inspired in Abraham’s faith and faithfulness, the Church prays in the Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon), liturgy, “Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them, as once you were pleased to accept ... the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith...”
During this Lenten season, as Catholics, we walk in faith like Abraham, not to a promised land, but the great joy of Easter.