Reading I: Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Reading II: Romans 8:31b-34
GOSPEL: Mark 9:2-10

God Has Your Back

Sometimes life can be hard. For many people in the world today, life is always hard. Yet in the first lines of today’s second reading from Romans, St. Paul tells us, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” One thing we need to keep in mind though is that just because God is “for” us, it doesn’t mean God is “against” others! God doesn’t “choose sides” because we’re all created in God’s image. But if you choose to love the Lord and live his commands, then God will definitely “have your back.”

It All Starts With Belief

What would you do if a disembodied voice, claiming to be the messenger of the Lord, told you to sacrifice your child to God? It may sound pretty crazy, but that’s what happens to Abraham in our first reading today. The Bible doesn’t tell us what is going through Abraham’s mind when he receives the instructions to kill his son, Isaac, but I have to believe it wasn’t anything pleasant.

Sometimes we are called to do difficult things; we are called to sacrifice something that is extremely important to us. When this happens, do we respond like Abraham? Do we say, “Here I am” and then do as the Lord asks, or do we fail to even respond? Perhaps we argue or bargain with God in hopes of getting an easier deal?

It’s not easy to trust in God the way Abraham did. It’s not easy to believe unfailingly in God – but that’s exactly what we’re called to do. That belief is the start of it all. It’s the foundation upon which we build our relationship with the Lord.

Listen to My Son

Abraham is not the only biblical character called upon to believe and trust this week. In the Gospel reading, we have Peter, James and John being told by God, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Little did they know, listening to Jesus would mean following his commands and living their lives as he instructed. And more often than not, it wasn’t an easy thing to do.

And yet St. Paul is absolutely convinced that God has our backs. In spite of all the hardships that we may endure, we still have a reason to be incredibly optimistic. For no matter what life throws at us – no matter what hardships or evil we must endure – we can find comfort in the fact that God loves us. No matter how it may otherwise appear, the Creator of the universe loves us and has said that we are “very good.”

That understanding, that knowledge, that belief, helps us persevere through tremendous hardships and difficult trials. It also provides us with a wonderful message to go out and share with the world:

God created us and loves us all! Stop choosing “sides” and start choosing God. Listen to Jesus, and God will have your back too!

Life Applications:

What have you suffered that has tested your faith in God?
How did you persevere and maintain your trust in God?
How does it feel to know that God has your back?

Original article by Brandon Jubar, 2006-2021.
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