“You shall be the father of a multitude of Nations.”
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 17:3-9)
In those days: Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.”
The word of the Lord
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm105:4-5.6-7.8-9 (R. 8a)
R/. The Lord remembers his covenant forever
Turn to the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his marvels and his words of judgement. R/.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
O descendants of the Jacob he chose,
he, the Lord, is our God;
his judgements are in all the earth. R/.
R/. The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
He remembers his covenant forever:
the promise he ordained for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac. R/.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL Psalm 95:7d.8a
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord. Glory and praise to you, O Christ
“Your father Abraham rejoice that he was to see my day”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 8:51-59)
Jesus said to the Jews, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, ‘If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.
The Gospel of the Lord
What Jesus said was that Abraham saw his day and was glad. The Jews misunderstood him to mean that he saw Abraham physically. Abraham saw the day of Jesus in the descendants that God promised him in today’s First Reading. God sealed an everlasting covenant with Abraham to be God to him and to his descendants. Those descendants were rights there in the times of Jesus, and they were seeing the day of Jesus on behalf of their ancestor Abraham and on their own behalf. But, as Saint Paul would later say, the true descendants of Abraham are those who share in his faith in every age (Romans 4:16). They are the ones who have seen the day of the Son of God, and are glad. They have subsequently become his disciples.