All posts tagged: Abraham

The Annunciation and Vocational Fear

  Mary said: My soul is deeply troubled; what can this greeting mean? Am I to give birth to my king and yet remain a virgin forever? –Antiphon for Daytime Prayer, Advent I prayed these words most days last Advent. It looked like my bishop would be ordaining me as a deacon this May. At least for diocesan seminarians, at diaconate we make our lifelong promises to be celibate, obedient and faithful to the Liturgy of the Hours. It comes up fast and raises a lot of questions. Is it commitment possible and worth the risk? Mary’s heart was full of questions—Luke’s gospel and this suggest as much. These are not necessarily questions of pious wonder:  she was deeply troubled, utterly unaware of how this Annunciation was going to happen or what might happen as a result. This year Church observes the Annunciation on April 9 because March 25 fell on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday evokes Abraham, who was willing to offer his son. Both Abraham and Mary show us how to approach celibacy, commitment …

Seeing the Unseeable

The Letter to the Hebrews is a masterful restatement of the story of Israel in light of Jesus Christ. In chapter one, the letter clearly states its premise: In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe. (Heb 1:1–2) One must think about the Letter to the Hebrews as the slow building up of an argument about what has been revealed in Jesus Christ. For this reason, it is often difficult to understand snippets of the text without grasping what comes before and after. On the Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, we hear about the faith of Abraham. At the beginning of chapter 11, faith is described as “the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). The word “evidence” means more than what one would collect from a crime scene. It means seeing what is not …