Fr. Jack got distracted by the readings, and wound up giving the homily I needed. He used the Hebrews reading which ends this way:
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer
his only son,
of whom it was said,
â€œThrough Isaac descendants shall bear your name.â€
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead,
and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
That last verse caught him and he decided to reflect on just what Isaac was a symbol of… and after wandering through his thoughts, he came up with the thought that the symbol here referred to faith in the Giver, not based on the visible result. I’m not sure how he got there, and we didn’t record the homily. It seems that faith at one level relies on “results.” Like “I ask for this and it is granted.” Request -> Result. But Abraham went a step further by his willingness to do something whereby the desired result seemed impossible: to offer his son, the only visible way to fullfuill the promise that his descendants would number as many as the stars.
I sometimes do petition God — but, I have discovered it to be generally a better method to lay a situation in front of God and ask Her to be present. The outcome seems to work out best — often not the way I would have invisioned it – better… sometimes more painful, sometimes more joyful.
And so, when I found myself very disappointed yesterday, the homily rushed in on me — I’m still disappointed, but I rest in faith that whatever happens, it will be for the best in the long run.