Still called to make great sacrifices

Martha Popson

Abraham hears a voice saying this is God, go sacrifice your son for me.  And Abraham sets off with Isaac, prepared to do just that.

This is my least favorite Scripture story and is the first reading for the coming Sunday.  I don’t claim to be any kind of Scripture scholar, but I am a parent.

I am a mother and I want to know:

Where was Sarah while all this was going on?


Did she say, “God told you to do WHAT?  Not MY son, you’re not!”

Did she ask, “Have you taken your meds today, honey?”

Did she try to lock him up in the tent and tell Isaac to go to a friend’s and don’t come back until she came and got him?

Did she file commitment and divorce papers all at once?

I know I am reading all kinds of 21st century reactions into a very very old story, one designed to show that faith in God calls for great sacrifice and can bring great rewards.  I still know that, if I ever got that particular call,  my reaction would be more as I imagine Sarah’s to have been than Abraham’s.

I am glad we live in a different time theologically.  What would Jesus do?  Nothing close to the above.

For details on how we are to act, God the Father, at the Transfiguration, gives us a clue, “This is my beloved Son.  Listen to him.”

Jesus told us to love one another.  OK.

Jesus said, “Sell all you have and give to the poor.”  Uh, about that …

Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”  Whoa!

Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

Two Testaments, but same song, different verse. We are called to give up everything which we have to serve our God.   Jesus chose to obey, even unto death.  I don’t know if I could do that. I do pray that I never make decisions that lead to death for another.  One difference between the two Testaments is that we aren’t to claim ownership over another, not even our child.  An adult Isaac would now be liable for his own actions and couldn’t spend the rest of his life playing the victim, saying “well, my father almost killed me.”

We can’t either.

We are responsible for our own life choices.  We are still  being called to make great sacrifices and to believe that true faith will yield the greatest reward.

This is hard stuff, God.


Martha Popson Blog

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on