Gospel Reflections

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 12:32-48

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Roseanne Murphy

Published: August 07, 2016

The life of Abraham is filled with lessons of faith. Walking away from his home not knowing where he was going, to a land unknown to him, all because he believed God told him to go, must have been really hard for him. But that was nothing compared to being asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac, after being told that his descendants would be as numerous as the grains of sand on the shore or the stars in the sky, must have been the hardest of all. It is very difficult to imagine what it was like for him even as we draw back in admiration of his faith and fidelity. He knew that God was not just being cruel or arbitrary.  

Reflecting on our own lives, with Abraham's story in the background, can lead us to reflect on our own strength of faith and willingness to respond to what God asks of us in our time. While usually small in comparison with Abraham's challenges, we do have moments of recognizing what God may be asking us to do.

Jesus asks his followers to be "prepared for the master's coming," in the people who cross our lives, in the sick and infirmed, in the poor and abused, in the dying and grieving, in the lost and confused, in the angry and disheartened. As we walk through life, our faith and trust are tested in countless ways and opportunities. Christ says in today's Gospel, "...where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." and "You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." St. Julie Billiart knew that the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and all Christians would be tested, which is why she so often encouraged her Sisters and those we serve to have faith and trust in the goodness of God.

Just as God knew he could depend on Abraham to prove his faith, we are also given opportunities to show our confidence in his promises. Our world today gives us ample opportunities to respond to Christ's challenge to trust and have faith that God will work in us and prepare for us a heavenly homeland. Whatever time we have on this earth, we are told to “stay awake and be ready for (we) do not know on what day the Lord will come." We do know that faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. This is a time when our world needs both faith and hope in God’s goodness!

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