Thought of the day
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday of the Fifth week of Lent

Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church Abraham, Book I, 19-20 "Abraham saw my day"

Thursday of the Fifth week of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church 
Abraham, Book I, 19-20

                       "Abraham saw my day"

Let us consider the reward Abraham wished to have from the Lord. He did not ask for wealth like a miser, nor a long life like someone who fears death, nor power, but he asked for an inheritance worthy of his work. “What good will your gifts be, he said, I keep on being childless” (Gn 15:2)… Hagar gave birth to a son, Ishmael, but God said to him: “That one shall not be your heir but one of your own issue” (Gn 15:4). What other one is he talking about? He is not referring to Ishmael but to holy Isaac… In Isaac, the legitimate son, we can see the truly legitimate son, our Lord Jesus Christ who, at the beginning of Saint Matthew’s gospel, is called son of Abraham (Mt 1:1). He showed himself to be a true son of Abraham when he made his ancestor’s posterity shine out; it was thanks to him that Abraham looked at the heavens and could see his posterity shine like the stars (Gn 15:5). The apostle Paul says: “Star differs from star in brightness; so also is the resurrection of the dead” (1Cor 15:41-42). When he associated with his resurrection those whom death guarded in the earth, Christ gave them a share in the kingdom of heaven. 

Affiliation with Abraham is passed on exclusively through the inheritance of faith, which prepares us for heaven, draws us close to the angels, raises us to the stars. “ ‘Just so, God said, shall your descendants be,’ and Abraham believed in the Lord” (Gn 15:6). He believed Christ would be his heir through his incarnation. To make this known to you, the Lord said: “Abraham saw my day and was glad”. God considered him as just because he did not ask for any explanations but unhesitatingly believed. It is right that faith should go before explanation; if not, we would seem to be asking the Lord our God for them as from a man. How unseemly it would be to believe other people when they bear witness to another and not to believe God when he speaks about himself! So let us imitate Abraham so as to inherit the world through the justification of faith, which made him inherit the earth.