IT'S GIVING AND SHARING LIFE
Today, there are many false prophets who promise happiness from money, power, and prestige. But they can give no sign of their trustworthiness in our lives. God alone has given the ultimate sign of His fidelity, the death of His Own Son upon the Cross.
If there is anything we look for in human relationships, it is trustworthiness. We want to be able to depend on a friend's word; we want someone who will keep their promises. God made extraordinary promises to Abraham. He told him that his descendants would be very numerous and that, despite his old age, he would have a son from whom all these people would come. God was very pleased that Abraham took Him at His word, but He also understood the human heart and the need we feel for a sign of trustworthiness.
God was willing to submit Himself to the customary ceremony, in use at the time, as a means of sealing a contract with Abraham. Animals were cut in two, and the contracting parties walked between the halves as a sign that they were willing to suffer the fate of the animals if they broke the Covenant. Such a sign was not necessary from God, but out of love for Abraham, He gave it anyway.
Abraham was a great man of faith! God made this personal Covenant with him, and he with God. The word "Covenant" must be very important to God, for it is used fifty-five times in twenty-two books of the Old Testament and eighteen times in eleven books of the New Testament. Why? What is a Covenant? Simple but profound!
1. Personal 2. Mutual 3. Commitment 4. Relationship
Verbal No orders Who we are to others Giving of both
Not written Not forced Personal commitment Personal relationship
It's giving and sharing life!
To be called a Christian means that we are part of a Covenant with God and others just like Abraham. We have to believe in God's word and bring it to life; God, Who dwells in each of us! There is a certain style to this in our living. We share everything. There are two main Covenants that God made with us throughout history. First, was delivering His people from slavery out of Egypt. "I shall be your God and you shall be My people" (Ex 6:7). In order to live this Covenant, there are two key areas that we need to follow in our life: respect and obedience. These are the basis of a spiritual and moral life.
Second, God improves and perfects it! In the Book of Jeremiah, we hear God's promise: "I will place My Law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall by My people" (Jer 31:33). Presented at the Last Supper, Jesus did the unthinkable; He washed the feet of the disciples - a visible sign of His New Covenant with them. And then He said, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another" (Jn 13:34). We are the beneficiaries of this New Covenant, which is not simply a promise of continued life through many descendants, but the pledge of everlasting life! God has given us a sign of this New Covenant.
Do we truly desire to enter into a Covenant with God? How do we know if we have a Covenant relationship with Him? Let's take a look at our personal relationships with, for example, our parents, children, spouse, co-workers, etc. What about our moral lives? Today, there are many false prophets who promise happiness from money, power, and prestige. But they can give no sign of their trustworthiness in our lives. God alone has given the ultimate sign of His fidelity, the death of His Own Son upon the Cross.
In the Responsorial Psalm we acclaim, "The Lord remembers His Covenant forever" (Ps 105:8a). Let us allow our hearts to be moved, and open ourselves up in gratitude and love. Take as done to you what is done to Me. Identify with Me. Make Me one with you. God does want to have a Covenant relationship with you and me, let's accept the invitation!