Thursday, July 05, 2007

Abraham's test

Today's first reading is that dramatic story often referred to as "the sacrifice of Abraham." It has attracted scores of learned commentaries along the centuries, as you might expect for a narrative like that. Recent scholarship has pointed out that the word "seeing" is very important in the account: Abraham "sees" from afar the mountain that God was telling him about (it could mean that Abraham "recognizes" the mountain spot); God will "see" to the lamb for the sacrifice; Abraham "sees" the ram caught in the brambles, and at the end, a proverb is coined, "On the mountain, God will see" (or on the mountain, you will see God). With all those references to "seeing," it is almost surprising that Abraham is called our father in "faith" (especially after Tuesday's Gospel for the feast of St. Thomas: "Blessed are those who have not seen but still believe").


harv681 said...

Maybe the references to "seeing" refer to a sort of understanding.I am a very "visually oriented" person--I have to picture something in my head before I can begin to comprehend even the most rudimentary thing about it. I often say, "OK--I can see what you're saying," and I mean it literally.

winifritz said...

To Harv. You are an audial person. One would think that you do not hear what they are saying 'cuz you do not have eye contact..."Earth to Harv". It is possible that you are both.

xaipe said...

In the Bible, "seeing" is more than visual perception or comprehending... For example, the "Beatific Vision" isn't just about a vision.
OH, and another possible translation of Abraham's proverbial name for the mountain is "on the Lord's mountain there is sight."