Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Genesis) is all about Abraham. Abraham is faithful to God – even when he doesn’t really understand what God is doing. And in one way or another, Abraham’s faithfulness to God sets in motion just about everything that follows in the Bible.
While the story of Abraham’s (almost) sacrifice of Isaac is hard for us to hear, in the culture Abraham came from, that a god would demand human sacrifice was no surprise. What God actually does had to be a complete surprise.
Sometimes you see a picture with so much deliberate detail that you just know that it’s all there for a reason, that it all means something. Sunday’s Gospel (Mark) is one of those pictures, and it centers on an image of Jesus that is unlike any other in the Bible.
He’s still unmistakably Jesus. And yet everything about him, from the figures that are suddenly with him and even the nature of his clothing, is different in ways that should not be possible. Revealing (like the Old Testament reading) things we never expected about the One we are following.
Readings for Sunday: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030115.cfm