Jesu on The cross


Posted : Mar-01-2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In today’s first Reading, we have the account of Abraham and the sacrifice of his son Isaac. To be
sure, this passage makes us reflect on what kind of God we follow, who asks Abraham to sacrifice
his son. But this is not what the passage of the sacrifice of Isaac is trying to convey. Human
sacrifice was not new to the people of Abraham’s time - it was a common reality for the ancient
religions of the world at that time. These human sacrifices were ways of pleasing the gods and
ensuring that good things would fall on the peoples who initiated these acts. For some cultures, it
would be a great honour to be the one chosen to be sacrificed – those sacrificed would be
remembered and even seen as demi-gods themselves.

Human sacrifice, as in the ancient world, is not our experience of course and we find it such a
repulsive and horrific act, as it always is. And yet, we can say that human sacrifice is still being
acted out in our day and age and with more veracity and in greater numbers that could have even
happened in the ancient times. For a good number of the world’s population, these human
sacrifices are seen as acceptable and even necessary. These human sacrifices are not to appease
the gods, so that we can ensure good success, but rather to appease ourselves who have now
become our own ‘gods’. With these human sacrifices the god of darkness and lies is appeased and
we become followers of that darkness. And what human sacrifice am I speaking of (if you have not
already guessed)? It is of course the human sacrifice of Abortion and Euthanasia. These modern
day “human sacrifices” are just as accepted as those who were sacrificed for the gods many years
As we look at the sacrifice of Isaac we recognize that we have a totally different story at play. In
this human sacrifice, God (our God) steps in at the last moment and stops the act. God does not
desire the act of sacrifice, but the faith which was the basis for the act that Abraham was willing to
do. This is the key.
Before the sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham had been told by God that it would be through Isaac himself
that a great nation would be formed. This means that even though Abraham is willing to obey
God’s command to sacrifice his son, yet at the same time he also believes in faith that that very
son Isaac, whom he was to sacrifice, would be the father of a great nation – a nation great in
number than even the sands on the sea-shore. This is the “FAITH” that Abraham had. And this
was the “ACT” that God was looking for.
This sacrifice of Isaac also leads us to reflect on another sacrifice that would take place about 2000
years after this event of Abraham and Isaac. Jesus Christ, the only son of God was “sacrificed” on
the cross, FOR US.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in
him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Fr. Liborio