Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday in Epiphany 4: O venerable father Abraham!

Opening Sentence
From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to my Name, and a pure offering; for my Name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 1:11

Commemoration: Brigid (Bridget) of Kildare
Everliving God, we rejoice today in the fellowship of your Blessed servant Brigid, and we give you thanks for her life of devoted service. Inspire us with life and light, and give us perseverance to serve you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, world without end. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 72

Lessons: Genesis 22:1-18, Hebrews 11:23-31, John 6:52-59

O venerable father Abraham! When you returned home from Mount Moriah, you needed no praise to console you for your loss: for, indeed, did you not win everything and keep Isaac? Henceforth the Lord took him no more from you but you sat joyfully at table with him in your tent, as you will in Heaven for all eternity. O venerable father Abraham! Thousands of years have passed since those days, but you have no need of a tardy lover to snatch your memory from the power of oblivion: for every language reminds men of you – and yet you reward your lover more gloriously than anyone, since in Heaven you grant him blessedness in your bosom and on earth captivate his heart and his eyes with the miracle of your action. O venerable father Abraham! Second father of our race! You who were the first to know and the first to bear witness to that vast passion which disdains the fury of the elements and the powers of creation in order to battle with God, you who were the first to know that supreme passion, that humble, holy , and pure expression of the divine madness which was the admiration of the heathen – forgive him who would speak your praise, if he has spoken idly. He has spoken humbly, according to the desire of his heart: he has spoken briefly, because brevity is seemly; but he will never forget that you required a hundred years to obtain the son of your old age against all hope and that you had to draw your knife before you could keep Isaac; nor will he ever forget that in a hundred and thirty years you never went beyond faith.

Soren Kierkegaard
Fear and Trembling

Jesus Shall Reign