Abraham is often referred to as our father in faith. He has that title because he trusted completely in God. He did not hesitate to do what God asked, even when God asked that he sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. Because of his obedience, God blessed him with uncountable generations of descendants. The covenant the Lord made with Abraham is described in today’s first reading from the Book of Genesis.
When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”
We, the followers of Jesus Christ, are spiritual descendants of Israel and are people of the covenant. Our God did not spare his only beloved Son so that we might live. The Lord is our God, the maker of all that exists. His continuing promise to us is that he will be our God in the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we will be his people.
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One!