Remember God’s active role in your life, including the blessings he has bestowed on you.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis sent this strong message during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. He was reflecting on how God is always faithful to His covenant, reflecting specifically on how he kept faith with Abraham and He is faithful to the salvation promised in His Son.
The Pontiff drew his inspiration from today’s first Reading, narrating the story of the covenant God made with Abraham, and the Gospel, in which both Jesus and the Pharisees refer to “Father” Abraham.
Abraham, a man of faith and hope, believe God’s words that he would have a child although he was 100 years old, and his wife was sterile.
“He believed against every hope,” Francis underscored.
Abraham Wasn’t Some ‘Dreamer’
“If anyone wanted to give a description of the life of Abraham, he could say, ‘This guy is a dreamer,’” the Pope said. He explained that Abraham had something of the dreamer in him, but it was “that dream of hope,” He wasn’t, the Pope said, crazy.
“Put to the test, after having had a child, a boy, a young child, he was asked to offer him in sacrifice: he obeyed, and went forward against all hope. And this is our father Abraham, who goes forward, forward, forward; and when Jesus says Abraham saw his day, saw Jesus, he was full of joy.
“He saw Him in promise, he saw that joy of seeing the fullness of the promise of the covenant, the joy of seeing that God had not deceived him, that God – as we prayed in the responsorial psalm – is always faithful to His covenant.”
Remember the Wonders God Performs
The psalm, the Pontiff also stressed, invites us to call to mind the wonders God performs.
“For us, the descendants of Abraham, it’s like thinking of our father who has passed away, and yet we remember the good things about him and we think: “He was a great father!”
On Abraham’s part, Francis stressed, the covenant consists in having always obeyed. While on God’s part, he continued, He has promised to make Abraham “the father of a multitude of nations.”
“No longer shall you be called Abram, but Abraham,” the Lord says. And Abraham believed. Then, in another dialogue, God tells him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the heavens and as the sand on the seashore. And today we are able to say, “I am one of those stars. I am a grain of sand.”
God Dreamed of Us, His People
The Pontiff went on to explain that between Abraham and us, there is another Story, the one of the heavenly Father and of Jesus.
For this reason, he explained, Jesus told the Pharisees that Abraham exulted in the hope of seeing “my day.” Saying this is the great message, he noted, the Church today invites us to pause and to look to “our roots,” “our father,” who “has made us a people, a heaven full of stars, a beach full of grains of sand.”
“Looking to history: I am not alone, I am a people. We go together. The Church is a people.
“But a people dreamed of by God,” he continued, “a people He has given a father on Earth who obeyed; and we have a Brother who has given His life for us, to make us a people. And so we are able to look upon the Father, to give thanks; to look upon Jesus, to give thanks; to look upon Abraham and ourselves, who are part of the journey.”
Underscoring God is faithful, Francis noted we should pause to discover, God’s beautiful love present always, even amid life’s challenges.
“Make today ‘a day of memory,’” Francis encouraged, pointing out that “in this great story, in the framework of God and Jesus, there is the little story of each one of us.”
Life-changing Homework to Be Full of Joy
“I invite you today to take five minutes, ten minutes, to sit down – without the radio, without the television – to sit down and reflect on your own story: the blessings and the troubles, everything. The graces and the sins, everything.
“And then look there and see the faithfulness of that God who remained faithful to His covenant, remained faithful to the promise He made to Abraham, remained faithful to the salvation He promised in His Son, Jesus.
“I’m certain that in the midst of all of the perhaps ugly things – because we all have them, so many ugly things in this life – if we do this today, we will discover the beauty of the love of God, the beauty of His mercy, the beauty of hope. And I am sure that we will all be full of joy.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying, if we do so, he is certain “we all will be full of joy.”