Everyone is busy in today’s lectionary readings. I smile as I think of long ago Saturdays in the convent when the primary activity was cleaning and making sure everything was done, readied for the week to come in our school work or wherever our ministry called us for love of the “dear neighbor.”
Abraham was front and center in the first reading, sitting at the entrance to his tent as if waiting for instructions about the day. When he saw three men standing nearby he sprang into action, ready to provide them with what is described as “a little food” for their journey. It became a group project as Abraham gave instructions first to Sarah—to make rolls —then to a servant who prepared the meat of a “tender, choice steer.” Abraham finished the job with curds and milk and then watched while they ate. There are lots of words that make it seem like there wasn’t much time to waste, words like “he ran,” hastened, “Quick!” and repetitions of the same. Abraham must have been aware that these three visitors were messengers from God because he was immediately on alert to do all that he (and his entourage) could do to serve the guests. And the news was startling, news that Sarah, in her old age, was to have a son. Unbelievable, at best! But the prediction came true, likely because of the hospitality shown to the guests.
The theme continues with people who are gifted with messages from God—first Mary, in the amazing news of her motherhood, impossible but true—sung by Mary in what we call the Magnificat, and for the humble centurion whose servant was paralyzed and suffering. Jesus was willing to come to his house to cure the man but because of his belief, Jesus made sure of the healing simply because of the man’s faith—no need to be in the presence of the needy one.
So how do we put this all together? Where are the connections and the willingness of the participants to surrender to the present moment and circumstances? Of what do they need to let go, suspending their beliefs when God steps in?
I leave that to your reflection and hope that the message becomes clear to you—for you—as you listen to God speaking to you and through you on this day.