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Thoughts for the Week
 
 

 

Quinquagesima Sunday

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
7th February 2016

The Holy Patriarch Abraham - Our Model in Faith
by Dom Prosper Gueranger O.S.B.

The Church gives us today another subject for our meditation: it is The Vocation of Abraham. When the waters of the Deluge had subsided, and mankind had once more peopled the Earth, the immorality, which had previously excited God's anger, again grew rife among men. Idolatry, too, into which the ante-diluvian race had not fallen, now showed itself, and human wickedness seemed thus to have reached the height of its malice. Foreseeing that the nations of the Earth would fall into rebellion against him, God resolved to select one people that should be peculiarly his, and among whom should be preserved those sacred truths, which the Gentiles were to lose sight of. This new people was to originate from one man, who would be the father and model of all future believers. This was Abraham. His faith and devotedness merited for him that he should be chosen to be the Father of the children of God, to which belong all the elect.

It is necessary, therefore, that we should know Abraham, our father and our model. This is his grand characteristic: Fidelity to God, submissiveness to His commands, abandonment and sacrifice of everything in order to obey His holy will. Such ought to be the prominent virtues of every Christian. Could the Christian have a finer model than this holy Patriarch, whose docility and devotedness in following the call of his God are so perfect? We are forced to exclaim, with the Holy Fathers: "O true Christian, even before Christ had come on the Earth! He had the spirit of the Gospel, before the Gospel was preached! He was an Apostolic man, before the Apostles existed!" God calls him: he leaves all things - his country, his kindred, his father's house - and he goes into an unknown land. God leads him - he is satisfied; he fears no difficulties; he never once looks back. Did the Apostles themselves more? But, see how grand is his reward. God says to him: In thee shall all the kindred of the Earth be blessed. This Chaldean is to give to the world Him that shall bless and save it. Death will, it is true, close his eyes ages before the dawning of that day, when one of his race, who is to be born of a Virgin and be united personally with the Divine Word, shall redeem all generations, past, present, and to come. But, meanwhile, till Heaven shall be thrown open to receive this Redeemer and the countless just, who have won the crown, Abraham shall be honoured, in the Limbo of expectation, in a manner becoming his great virtue and merit. It is in his Bosom (Luke 16), that is, around him, that our First Parents, received that rest and happiness, which were a foretaste of the bliss in Heaven. Thus is Abraham honoured; thus does God requite the love and fidelity of them that serve Him.

If, therefore, we be children of Abraham, we must, as the Church tells us, during Septuagesima, look upon ourselves as exiles on the Earth, and dwell, by hope and desire, in that true country of ours, from which we are now banished, but towards which we are each day drawing nigher, if, like Abraham, we are faithful in those various stations allotted us by our Lord. We are commanded to use this world as though we used it not; to have an abiding conviction of our not having here a lasting City (Heb. 13:14), and of the misery and danger we incur, when we forget that Death is one day to separate us from everything we possess in this life.