By faith, Abraham accomplished great things. In faith, we become aware in our intellect of the things we hope for, that they are real. The fact of faith, something God given in our inmost being, along with intellect, and is the proof itself that things exist which the senses do not know.

The attractive verse is “acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth” and “they desire . . . a heavenly homeland.” Today, we have little clue of what it means to be strangers and aliens, and perhaps even less so yearning for heaven, which we think to ourselves we have already established here on earth. There are those who know these things, but it is not the white American. This loss of faith permeates our society in a very negative and destructive way.

For these are the temptations: to return to the materialism in which we find our meaning and to fail to give everything over to God. That last verse sums this up. Abraham reasoned that God can raise the dead; this is his faith. He received Isaac back as a symbol.

A symbol is the two broken halves of a bulla, a clay or wax seal identifying property and ownership, that are brought back together to provide the proof because the two halves fit one another. In other words for the father and the son, the two are one and whole. For Abraham, all this “fits” and makes sense out of the narrative of his experiences and life. Therefore, he believes.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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