Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Gn 12:1-9; Ps 33:12-22; Mt 7:1-5
“Our soul waits for the LORD, who is our help and our shield.”

Abram had no fear. He waited for the LORD, who was his help and his shield. Abram put his hope in the LORD. His eyes were upon the LORD, and his ears were open to the call of God. This faith-filled father of faith became a blessing for a whole nation. This people called through Abram became a people God had chosen for his own inheritance. Through the faith of Abram and his countless descendents the LORD God has blessed all mankind. The Lord Jesus is one of the descendents of Abram. From Abram, our ancestor in faith, comes forth a messiah for the chosen people and a savior for all the nations. Jesus teaches his disciples a lesson we still need to learn: “stop judging, that you may not be judged.”

Abram and the story of his life still teach us about faith. Indeed, all the nations on earth find blessing in the faith of Abram. The first time the LORD speaks to Abram there is both a command and a promise. He is commanded to leave the security of his homeland and his father’s house. At this time one’s identity and one’s protection depends upon family, but God’s call involves the discovery of a new family, the family of faith. Abram is promised that this move will result in the creation of a great nation. At this time in Abram’s life, at seventy-five years of age, moving away from all that is family and familiar is dangerous. Yet, his faith in the LORD enabled Abram to trust and to travel. The second time the LORD speaks to Abram there is a promise and a sacrifice. Even though the Canaanites were in the land, the LORD promised this land to Abram’s descendants. Abram responds in faith and builds an altar to the LORD who had appeared to him. At each stage in the journey Abram stops and builds an altar to the LORD. It is faith that enables his journey and faith that stops him in his tracks to worship the LORD who is his help and his shield. All the communities of the earth will come to find blessing in Abram and his descendant, Jesus the Christ.

We too find our blessing in the Lord Jesus who teaches us how to live in justice and peace. When we cease to judge and measure the value of our brothers and sisters, then and only then can we bless and not curse each other. Indeed, the disciples of the Lord Jesus become a blessing to all the communities of the earth when we live out the wisdom of our Divine Teacher. We reveal the compassion of Christ when we hate sin and love the sinner. As we have been taught, we must hate the sin in ourselves much more than we hate it in the other. Our loving correction of brothers and sisters will be more than judgment and condemnation when we pay more attention to sin in our own lives than in the lives of those with whom we live. It is mere hypocrisy to offer correction to others about things we ourselves refuse to repent. Such a contradiction will only destroy the fellowship of disciples and render the conversion of the nations impossible. Only the humble prayer of repentance will save us from the hypocrisy of elitism and exclusion. True descendants of Abram and true disciples of Jesus have moral strength and responsibility for the blessing upon all the communities of the earth. Here at the Eucharist, when our eyes are upon the Lord Our God, can we remove the beam from our own eye so that we can see clearly to remove the splinter from another’s eye.


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