Mass Readings: Genesis 17:3–9/John 8:51–59

The Eternal Covenant

I’ve struggled for years with the mystery of God’s eternal covenant with Abraham and his descendants and God’s covenant with the followers of Christ. I hadn’t planned to fall in love and marry a Jewish woman, but once we became part of each other’s lives 42 years ago, I felt I had to figure out the contradictions in our heritages. Guess what? I haven’t figured it out yet.

This is where the Catholic word “mystery” comes in handy. Just as the mind has trouble understanding the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation, so too does my mind have trouble reconciling today’s first reading from Genesis, where God makes an everlasting pact with Abraham and his descendants, and the Gospel reading, where Jesus says, “[B]efore Abraham came to be, I AM” (Jn 8:58).

Prayer: God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thank You for grafting this Gentile onto Your people.