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The Patriarch Abraham holds the knife, ready to sacrifice his son as God had tempted him to see if he would be obedient. The fire for the burnt offering sacrifice is ready on the top of Mount Moriah, centuries later the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. When Abraham showed his willing obedience, God spoke with him and told him not to harm his son, showing him a ram caught in a thicket to sacrifice instead. This surprising interaction is a mystery to us, so far from this personal and humble relationship with God.
God then called to Abraham and said, “By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gates of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Gen. 22:16-18). Our God is still called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May these two Patriarchs depicted here help us learn to love and be obedient to God the best we can.
|Movable Church Feast Day 1
2nd Sunday before Nativity
20th c. (Late)
Monk Michael of Athos