The scriptures are meant for stormy times, and they put stormy times in their place.
Last Sunday’s gospel was about the storm at sea from Mark’s gospel. Night’s coming, the wind rises, the waves sweep over the boat. Looks like the end, and Jesus is asleep.
I was thinking about the storm created by Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si.” Take a look at Twitter, #popefrancis, and you will see what I mean. What is he getting us into?
Today we began to read at Mass about the call of Abraham from the Book of Genesis. Brother Angelo read it slowly, as he usually does, dwelling on phrases you could miss.
“The LORD said to Abram:
‘Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.’”
“…a land I will show you,” God says. Not a land you will show me.
“You will be a blessing…all the communities of the earth will find blessings in you.”
Not your land and it’s not about you, but it’s a blessing for all nations.
“Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.”
Seventy-five? How old is Pope Francis? How old are we?
“Abraham took his wife, Sarai, his brother’s son Lot, all the possessions they had and the persons they acquired in Haran.”
Too many people, too complicated to go anywhere with such baggage.
So Abraham built an altar near the Terebinth at Mamre.
The early Christian commentators say the terebinth tree at Mamre is a symbol of the cross.
“Then Abraham journeyed on in stages to the Negeb.”
“Are we there yet?” Not there yet, only “in stages.”