MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
The call of Abraham
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
27, 3 July 2013)
The way to peace in the
Middle East is indicated in
the “wisdom” of Abraham, the
father of the faith shared
by Jews, Christians and
Muslims alike. Pope Francis
said this in his homily
referring to the strife
between Abraham and Lot (cf.
Gen 13:2, 5-18).
“When I read this I think of the Middle East and insistently implore the Lord
to give wisdom to us all”, so “let us not quarrel — you here and I there — over
peace”, he said. Abraham, he added, also reminds us that “no one is Christian by
accident” for God calls us by name and with “a promise”.
Concelebrating with the Pope among others were Cardinal Camillo Ruini and
Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum,
accompanying a group of officials and co-workers of the dicastery; Bishop
Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, with
the staff; and Fr Gabriel G. Funes, sj, Director of the Vatican Observatory with
There is a promise, the Pontiff said, at the origin of the history of Abraham
who is willing to leave his land “to go he knew not where, but wherever the Lord
told him”. Looking back at his vicissitudes, the journey to Egypt and the
conflict and then peace with Lot on the issue of land, Pope Francis cited
Genesis: “Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are”, everywhere,
it is all yours, “it will all be yours and belong to your descendants for ever”.
Abraham “left his land with a promise. His entire journey was oriented by
this promise, and his itinerary is also a model of our own journey. God called
Abraham, a person, and from this person he made a people. At the beginning of
the Book of Genesis, in the Creation, we can find that God created the stars, he
created the plants, he created the animals”. All in the plural. But “he created
man: in the singular. Because he created us in his image and likeness”.
“We Christians”, the Pope continued, “are called in the singular. None of us
is Christian purely by chance. No one. There is a call to you, to you, to you”.
It is a call “with a name, with a promise: Go ahead, I am with you, I am walking
beside you”. “This”, he explained, “is also known to Jesus who in the most
difficult moments turns to the Father”. Then “likewise when Jesus parts from us
on the day of the Ascension, he says that beautiful word to us: ‘I will be with
you always to the close of the age’, beside you, next to you... for ever”.
Abraham, in this passage of Scripture, “is anointed father for the first
time, father of the people, let us think too”, the Pope continued, “of our
anointing in Baptism and think of our Christian life”. And to those who say
“Father, but I am a sinner!”, the Pope answered that we are all sinners. The
important thing is “to move ahead with the Lord. The Lord is with us, the Lord
has chosen us and never abandons us. This Christian certainty will do us good”.