Browsing Pastor's Notes

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Christ has Risen, as He said He would, Alleluia!!!

In advance of the National Eucharistic Congress this July, I want to look at some of the Scriptural accounts of the Eucharist. There are so many more hints, foreshadowings, and fulfillment accounts in the Scriptures that indicate God’s Plan from the beginning included the Eucharist Real Presence of Christ.

Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them, as once you were pleased to accept the gifts of your servant Abel the just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim. (Roman Missal – Eucharistic Prayer I)

In the selection from EP I above, the Church presents three key offerings that God found pleasing in preparation for the perfect offering of His Son. The Church still recalls those sacrificial offerings from the Scriptures to deepen our understanding of Christ’s offering of Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. One of the great Types of Jesus in the Old Testament is that of the Testing of Abraham and the Binding of Isaac (Hebrew “Akedah”) narrated in Genesis 22:1-19.

God tested the faith of Abraham by asking the seemingly impossible – “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you” (v. 2). Abraham was already known to be a man of tremendous faith. He had left his family, tribe, and homeland in Ur to go where this previously “unknown” God would lead him. Abraham takes with him his wife Sarah and His nephew Lot. They thrive, but their journey is not an easy one. Abraham, whom God promised would be the “Father of Nations,” was still childless with Sarah as they approached the age of 100. And yet, Abraham persisted in his fidelity to the Lord. Being circumcised late in years as a sign of permanent commitment in the flesh, Abraham lived out the Covenant. With everything asked of him, Abraham seemed to respond with a docility and willingness of heart. Then, at long last, he received the gift of his first (& only) son of Sarah. He delighted in his son’s growth and maturity. God, who was the source of the gift of Sarah’s only begotten, now asked Abraham to give him back. To offer His “only one whom He loved” back to God. God is not being twisted or cruel, even while it is incomprehensible in the moment. No, what God the Father is doing is telling us what He and the Son was willing to do for us in the Sacrifice of Jesus who carried the wood upon His own shoulders and who became the Lamb caught & crowned in the thicket of thorns given in holocaust.

Abraham is often referred to as our Father in Faith by St Paul and others. In this account, Abraham is symbolic of our Father in Heaven – complete and utter willingness to do and give all in fulfillment of the Covenant and for Love. Abraham for God and God for Abraham, shows the Father for us in Christ and us in Christ to the Father. Isaac who is shown in Genesis as being grown – likely 13 – the age where a Jewish male is regarded as ready to observe religious precepts and eligible to take part in public worship (Bar Mitzvah) – is not an unwilling victim. Like Jesus Christ, Isaac is a free, willing Victim. He offers himself even as Abraham offered him. He unites his will to the will of God through his father Abraham. All to maintain the Covenant.

The Covenant between God and the Chosen People is now taken up and perfected in the New Covenant of Christ sacrificed upon the Cross. The gift of the Son to the Father willingly. The same gift is re-presented in the Eucharist at the Mass. The altar of Abraham is transformed to the altar of the Mass where “God’s Son, His Only One, Whom He loves’ is offered once for all. An offering that transcends time & space and happens forever in the great timelessness of God’s I Am. Where even now, the Son intercedes by His offering of Self and His most Precious Blood for us, here, now, as participated in the Mass. May we pause, reflect, and be challenged by oh-so-great an offering – first by Father Abraham and Isaac – and forever by our Father God and the Son Jesus made present in the Eucharist forever.



Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.

Holy Family, Gathered around the Lamb of God, Pray for us.

~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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