Welcome to Guardian Angels
Dear Friends and Families of Guardian Angels Parish,
Fast from judging others. Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences. Feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness. Feast on the reality of light.
This coming Friday is the second Knights of Columbus Fish Fry! The food was great two weeks ago, so please come and join us, beginning at 5:30 to 7:00 when supper is served. Then walk over to the church where we will have the Way of the Cross and continue to read the Synod on the Family documents. The Church really does want to hear from everyone.
You have about 48 to 24 more hours to go on line and respond to the family life survey. It is at archden.org. There you will see on the lower left an announcement for the survey on the family and a photo of a family. Click on that and the survey will open right up for you. It takes 10 to 15 minutes of your time. At the end click on “submit”, and you are finished.
There will be a fourth survey yet this year from our archbishop about the diocese. It will be distributed in the pews. This last survey is being also filled out in more depth by parish staffs through the archdiocese and will be used to address the needs of the diocese for budgeting and planning of pastoral care.
Abraham is called “our father in faith,” because he had faith in God’s providential care over himself, often in spite of whatever was in his face at the moment. It’s hard to believe in God in the midst of tribal conflict, a threatening natural environment, and all the things that arise in a family. The story of the sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham’s beloved son, has a back story. Remember that Sarah, Abraham’s wife was barren, and so Abraham conceived an heir on Hagar (her name literally means “the foreign woman”) who was Sarah’s servant. The boy born was called Ishmael. Later when Sarah in fact became pregnant and bore her own son, Isaac, she became threatened and jealous of Ishmael. She persuaded her husband to abandon the mother and child in the desert to die. So, it is in this context of sin, that God then shows Abraham how to be a father, in sharp contrast to the way that Abraham has been a father.
God demands the sacrifice of Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham. At three key points, Abraham expresses his faith: by responding a yes that he would do this, by trusting that God would provide the animal of sacrifice in substitute for his son, and in actually drawing the knife of the sacrifice only to be stopped at the last moment. God indeed provides a ram caught in a thicket for the sacrifice.
At each step of this story, the very first Christians beginning with St. Peter himself saw a prefigurement of Jesus Christ, right down to Isaac carrying the wood for the altar on his own back as Jesus carried the wood of the cross. Of course the Isaac story is far more than 1,000 years older than Jesus. That the prefigurement points ahead to Jesus is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our human history. We learn something very important here.
Beginning with I Peter 3, 21 we learn that for the earliest Christians the spiritual and interior meaning of the text of the Bible was more important for them because it pointed to Jesus. Hence they were far less concerned than the literal part of the stories in the Bible. This is very difficult for many in our culture today who insist on superficially reading the Bible as if it were some sort of science or history book. The Church today still uses this ancient tool of reading the Bible and interpreting it, clearly keeping the focus on Jesus and how to meet Him and follow him because the destiny of the human person is to be with him forever.
The event of Abraham’s confession of faith changed his life forever. He remained faithful to God. And so, just as in the transfiguration of Jesus, we see that through the law and the prophets our lives too will be changed by God’s grace. This openness to grace, which is a confession of faith, is what we all need to engage in the holy season of Lent that we too may learn to confess our faith, to act on it, and to imitate the Lord Jesus.
Praise God for keeping us faithful during this holy season of Lent.
Fr Alan Hartway, CPPS