Tag Archives: Abraham

Thoughts on Getting Older

In the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter Gabe Kaplan moves and lets out a groan. “That’s my father’s sound!” he exclaims.

Been there, done that. However, getting older is not the beginning of the end. It’s a new beginning.

Our readings as Mass this morning included Genesis 15: 1-6, 21:1-3 in which God tells Abram that he will have descendants more numerous than the stars in the sky. Abram, and his wife Sarai are both well past parenting or even grand-parenting years. Yet God, calling Abram “Abraham” and Sarai as “Sarah” gives them Isaac as their son. Abraham—Ibrahim became the father for Jews, the Muslims and the Christians.

Today’s gospel was from Luke 2:22-40 and told of Jesus presentation and consecration at the temple as a first-born son. The focus, however, was not just on Jesus. The story’s center included Simeon, who was probably quite old, but had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he saw the Messiah.

He held the baby Jesus and knew he could die in peace, but first he had a message for Mary that the child, “is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.”

Also in the Temple was Anna, a prophetess who was “well on in years.” She was a widow who had never left the Temple after her husband died. “She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”

We know nothing is impossible for God. He chose an elderly couple to create a people when there were many young couples around. He chose an elderly man and woman at the temple to recognize who Jesus was, and deliver important messages to His parents.

I try to remind myself that as I get older, God has just as much (if not more) for me to do than He did when I was young. Was He waiting for me to gain some wisdom? Was He waiting for me to have more faith? Maybe it’s just that He has something for each of us to do to serve him, everyday of our lives.

 

 

Led Into Temptation – Again

cnn

I confess, I was weak. I saw the story on CNN about “Famous Atheists and Their Beliefs” and after ignoring it for several days I peeked.

Look, I also confess that we believers make fools of ourselves and one another. Christians despised Jews for centuries, conveniently forgetting that the early Church met in the synagogues. That before Paul got knocked off his horse on the road to Damascus Christian membership was limited to Jews. That the Apostles were all Jews, and, oh by the way, Jesus was a Jew, of the House of David and He was the Messiah promised to the Jews.

After the schism, Protestants aired their grievances (and very legitimate grievances they were) about the Catholics. As time went on, the various flavors of Protestant began to differentiate from one another and rejected each other for reasons real and imagined.

And then there are the Muslims; sons of Ibraham, whom we call our ancestor  Abraham. They suffer as much infighting as Christians, and suffer lunatics who have successfully hijacked the title if not their beliefs.

The Atheists seem to have a solidarity with all not believing in the same thing and supporting each other’s disbelief. The believers, on the other hand, are not nearly as supportive of one another.

Maybe we believers should agree on a few things:

  • We are all seeking God.
  • As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, we humans don’t have the answers.
  • God seems to open doors, paths and ways to reach Him.

Most importantly

  • God loves us.

We won’t see an article about “Famous Believers and What They Believe.” But as believers, we don’t need to.