Thursday, First Week of Advent 

Theme: Isaac
Symbol: Altar of Sacrifice

File:The Sacrifice of Isaac MET DT200612.jpg
The Sacrifice of Isaac – Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804) Metropolitan Museum of Art

Prayer of Ven. Bruno Lanteri

Almighty and Eternal God, I (name), although most  unworthy, but encouraged by your compassion and infinite mercy, and by the desire of serving you, offer before the Most Holy Virgin Mary and all the Court of Heaven, to your Divine Majesty, this day, and all my thoughts, words and actions in it. I humbly beg of your infinite goodness and mercy, by the Blood of Jesus Christ, that you choose to accept this offering in the odor of sweetness, and that as you have given me the grace to desire and to make this offering, so also you grant me the grace to fulfill it. Amen.

O Virgin immaculately conceived, put into my heart those things of your Son most pleasing to him. Amen.

Scripture: Hebrews 11:17-19
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.

Reflection: By asking for Isaac to be offered as a sacrifice, God was not playing with Abraham’s emotions, nor simply testing his willingness to obey. Isaac was the son of the promise. He was the first descendent from whom all other descendants would come, including Jesus; therefore, Isaac was a symbol of the whole future of Israel and of salvation history. God was asking Abraham to offer to him and to entrust to him the destiny of Israel and its history. That was the real sacrifice God wished for, not the slaying of Isaac. By restoring Isaac to his father, God was showing that anyone who entrusts their destiny to him will always be restored and have fullness of life.