“When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him.”

In today’s first reading (Gen 17:3-9), God appears to Abraham once again to make a covenant with him.  God promises to make the 99-year-old childless Abram “the father of a host of nations” (v. 4) thus changing his name to Abraham (“father of a multitude” — v. 5),  God also promises to Abraham and his descendents the land of Canaan “as a permanent possession” (v. 9).  But they must promise to keep His covenant forever.

The headline is the first line of this reading.  It is a lesson for us today.  It is when Abram takes the position of worship, total deference, and humility that God communicates with him.  Abram shows complete receptivity to his creator in what He has to say to him.  Maybe our problem is that we are not enough like Abram.  When we have a particular struggle and cannot clearly (or cannot at all) hear God’s message to us, His will for us, is it because we are not completely open to it?  Does our will block His will?  Are we confident that God is listening and will answer?  Are we sure we will understand it?  Are we afraid of what might be asked of us?

Abram models for us the proper attitude to God.  A complete submission and openness to our loving Father is the only way to approach Him.

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