Today's first reading is the story of Abraham being called to sacrifice his own son to God. When I reflect upon this reading, I come to think of all the people I love, the dreams and aspirations I hold, and the things I've grown really attached to. If God called me to give those things up, would I? Faithfully and truthfully?
For example, I once loved someone very deeply. It was a relationship which I thought I could not live without. However, as it painfully ended I had to make the tough decision to let it go - to give it back to God. The story of Abraham is told in a way that presents a brief timeline. But mine, well, it felt like the process stretched over an excruciatingly long time. It was marred with doubt, frustration, anger, confusion - lots of not so great emotions. In the end, after much thought, prayer, and conversation with God, I was able to let go. The wonderful part is that afterwards, the honesty and openness I had developed in my relationship with God was in of itself an abundant blessing. One that I don't know I would have gained otherwise.
I realize that this relationship was not and is not the first time that God will invite me to let go of something. Now, the struggle I sometimes feel regarding letting go or giving to God something that is so dear to me has me asking the questions: Are there some parts of my life that are "off limits" to God? What parts do I give God access to, and what parts do I withhold? Which parts of my very self do I struggle to acknowledge and let God see?
Each Lenten season, we are reminded that the invitation that God posed to Abraham regarding his son, is one that God himself fulfilled with his own son, Jesus. If God himself, humbly provides complete access to Him and His love; If God himself is present in our relationship with steadfast commitment and fidelity, what will my response be when the invitation comes my way?
During this Lenten season, will I be able to fast and shed what stands between God and I?
"Lord, help me to be honest with you, to listen, and to have the courage to answer your invitation."
reflected by Rae Vista