Yesterday’s Scripture reading about Abraham being put to the test and being asked to sacrifice Isaac always leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable, to say the least. It just doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. Abraham and Sarah were good and faithful people, they hoped and prayed for children, God gave them Isaac, and then…they are asked to give back the greatest gift of their lives. Perhaps my knowing the end of the story lessens its impact.
While the examples of being tested in my own life may not be as dramatic or traumatic as Abraham’s, they can also call forth tremendous faith and trust. Sometimes the obedience of daily life, the call to give without counting the cost, and the invitation to put others first can truly stretch my capacity to love.
Mary knew a similar “testing.” At times dramatic and at times very simple, her life also challenged her to place her faith and trust in a loving God. “The meaning of the obedience asked of us can occasionally remain hidden. Such obedience, like Mary’s fiat, is a surrender of love made in faith, leading through darkness to light” (SND Constitutions, Art. 39).
We, too, know the end of the story – the gift of eternal life that will be ours someday. May this knowledge strengthen our faith.