This passage from Paul’s letter to the Roman churches concerns Abraham — who was considered the Father or Patriarch of the Hebrew nation. Paul used this important icon of the Hebrew people to illustrate his doctrine of “ justification” or gaining God’s
blessing of Grace and Forgiveness. Paul wanted the early Christians to recognize that this special relationship was not attained through “works”. Even though Abraham was a great man and had plenty to “boast” about in worldly terms, it was his unwavering
Faith, not his accomplishments that brought him God’s favor. Abraham believed God’s promises and carried out his life’s work accordingly. Paul also wanted to make the point that faith in Jesus Christ places not only the Jewish people ( “ the circumcised” ) but all people ( “ the uncircumcised” ) in position to be justified with God. In that sense, we all are descendants of Father Abraham.
We can appreciate how easy it is in today’s world to get caught up in “ works “. Too many church activities and responsibilities can actually cause us to burn out and decrease our ability to share our Faith in Christ with others. On the other hand, depending on our Faith alone to see us through without dedication of time, prayer, offerings, and outreach can cause us to miss the mark in the other direction. Paul’s citing of Abraham as a role model of a Faithful person who also believed God’s promises and worked hard to make them a reality serves us well today. Faith is a spiritual tool that we must keep sharpened and use regularly to achieve God’s
will in our lives and in the Church as a whole.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we believe you are the same God today as in the day of
Abraham. Help us discern how we should put our Faith in your Son to best
advantage every day. Let us work diligently but thoughtfully to accomplish our
mission according to your plan. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thought for the Day: The simplest answer is to Act in Faith.