Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 08 March 2020
Lent Sunday Week II
Gen. 12:1-4a; Ps. 33:4-5,18-19,20,22; 2Tim. 1:8b-10; Mat. 17:1-9
The project and ambitions at the Tower of Babel confused the human languages. They were dispersed throughout the earth (Gen. 11: 9). Humans went everywhere without rules, individually, without vision and mission. Thus, God chose a couple: Abram and Sarai as an example of how to “go according to His plan”! This classic story raises several messages. First, “the call of Abram'” is a story of a shared call: his and Sarai, his wife. There was one call and mission from God, which they carried out together! As the beginning of the world was marked by the call and mission of man and woman, so was the beginning of the nation marked by the call of husband and wife. Don’t read this story as the Abram’s story only. Isn’t that Sarai also went through her husband’s ups and downs? Genesis 12-50 is always unfairly named as “The Story of the Fathers of Nation”: the story of fathers, husbands and sons. In fact, there were so many contributions from wives, girls, female servants and daughters.
Second, Abram and Sarai were asked by God to leave the three main roots and mainstays of their lives: the land, the clans and the family. Both were called to leave the static way of life and narrow scope. God always asks you and me to “go”: getting out, moving and meeting new people and unexpected experiences. He wants us to live and be open to various possibilities. Like Abram’s experience, your mission and mine is “go”: go out and leave, be prepared and open, leaving the safe and comfort zone and all the mainstays. That is the model of faith that we inherited from Abram and Sarai: only relying on guidance, providence and surprise from God.
Third, the Lord counterbalanced the 3 things that they left with 3 things that He would give. Abram and Sarai will be a great nation, blessed and famous. These three promises of God are very general and not concrete. God wants Abram and Sarai to believe. No need to ask. Just leave. Let the LORD carry out His promises! Therefore, the LORD did not specify the new place. It is only: “go to the land that I will show you”. Do not ask where. Just leave. Let the LORD deliver and show the place according to His plan!
Fourth, not only unclear, God’s promise also does not make sense. Why? Because from the beginning (Gen. 11:30) it was said that Sarai was barren. How could the couple be a great nation? Many children and descendants are signs of God’s blessing. But how can this happen with a wife who could not bear a child? For that era, it didn’t make sense for a person without a descendant to be famous! So, God’s calling is indeed blurred and absurd. The call and mission of God requires readiness to release all security and common sense considerations!
Fifth, Abram and Sarai are examples of faith for us humans, who will never be able to penetrate God’s way of thinking. Having faith means believing, even when everything is doubtful and cannot be clearly seen. Having faith also means obedient, following wherever God calls us to go. We no longer use world calculation to have doubt or bargain on that call. No more consideration on profit and loss for the sake of material or comfort in life. Like Abram and Sarai, we should live fully in faith in God. Thank to their faith, Israel would become a great nation and become a “light” for other nations. Jesus Christ is also called “the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1: 1), because it is by Him the promise of “blessings” to Abram is shared with all humanities.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
For the Catholics in China: May the Catholics in China endure the constancy of faith to Gospel and grow in unity. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Traditional market: May in the midst of modern malls outbreak, the traditional markets can still keep their existence and obtain their living right, so the small merchants can keep going on with their economic activities. We pray…
We present the Lent: to become the time of conducting training of justice for all the people in our Dioceses. We pray …