Second Sunday in Lent
February 25, 2018
When you were a kid, did you ever take on a commitment that later became a real challenge to keep? Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman, with the Sunday Soundbite for the Second Sunday of Lent.
As a teenager, I made a deal with my dad to earn a few dollars selling garden seeds door-to-door. Dad bought the seeds, and I became the salesman. But as the door-to-door rejections piled up, I began to question my original agreement.
Abraham and God made a commitment. God would make Abraham the father of a great nation. Abraham would be faithful to God in return. In today’s familiar story from Genesis, Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. It’s described as a test—a test of Abraham’s part of the covenant-bargain.
The demand God makes on Abraham may make us squirm. But Scripture scholars suggest that the story was actually meant to discourage Israel from the child sacrifices carried out by their neighbors.
It’s also a story of fidelity. And that’s where my teenage sales experience comes in. A commitment between two people calls for faithfulness until the end–no matter how difficult things get. Abraham believed in God’s promise, even in the face of the most difficult challenge imaginable.
As you examine your baptismal covenant during these Lenten days, let the challenge to self-denial remind us of the scriptural call to fidelity.