The 1st Week of Advent
According to Bishop Robert Barron from Word on Fire, a priest in the Old Testament was someone who performed a sacrifice, united divinity and humanity, and brought God and humans together. Before we understand the meaning of the covenant God made to Abraham, we need to understand what the word “covenant” means. It’s not just a contract or a promise.
A covenant is a solemn agreement between human beings or between God and human beings. Contracts have specific terms and have time limits. Promises are just about one thing. God’s covenant with Abraham is an open-ended, fully consensual commitment, a bond that can never be broken.*
So this covenant that God makes with Abraham is one that lasts forever. This is why God promises that Abraham will have many descendants, and that his children will continue to honor God. The Lord also promised Abraham land to live on. So not only was Abraham going to have a legacy in the form of many descendants, his children would have a place to live.
This covenant foreshadows the New Covenant, “ratified in the blood of Christ.”* This covenant is an eternal, binding our hearts to Christ from the moment we are baptized. Millenia has passed since God’s promise to Abraham and, even now, the covenant still lives on through the Jewish people and through us. Even if we are unfaithful to this Covenant, God will always be faithful to us. To quote an old country song, “God is going to love us forever and ever, amen.”
*Thanks to Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, STD from Relevant Radio’s “Go Ask Your Father” for providing this particular information.
When was a time when God showed you his amazing grace in the midst of darkness and struggle? What have you promised God ? How have you kept it?