Today is Monday the 21 June, the feast of St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ, in the 12th week of Ordinary Time.
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Cantate Domino, a psalm of praise: ‘Sing to the Lord, alleluia. Sing to the Lord, bless his name, tell of his salvation from day to day, alleluia. Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.’
Today’s reading is from the Book of Genesis.
Now the Lord said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on by stages towards the Negeb.
Packing up, relocating and moving away from a familiar home to an unfamiliar country... God seems to be asking a lot from a seventy-five year-old Abram. When has God asked things of me that seemed a bit too much, beyond my abilities or my own will?
Yet Abram trusts God completely, and praises God as he keeps moving more and more into the unfamiliar. Do I find it hard to trust God completely like that? Do I want to trust God completely like that?
Now hear the passage again... listen to God continually encouraging Abram. Listen to how God constantly reassures him, blessing him and his descendants. And feel this encouragement for yourself, in your life. Feel God's presence guiding you as God guided Abram.
"I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing... and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Today God says that you are a blessing and those around you are blessed by God because of you. How do you want to respond to this blessing from God? What do you want to say or do in reply?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.