Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18

A reading from the book of Genesis.

It happened some time later that God put Abraham to the test. “Abraham!” God called.  “Here I am,” Abraham replied.  “Take your son,” God said, “your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah.  There offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.”

Rising early the next morning, Abraham saddled his donkey and took along two workers and his child Isaac.  Abraham chopped wood for the burnt offering and started on the journey to the place God had pointed out.  On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.  Then Abraham said to the workers, “Stay here with the donkey.  The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, loaded it on Isaac, and carried in his own hands the fire and the knife.  Then the two of them set out together.  “Look,” Isaac said to Abraham, “here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”  Abraham answered, “My child, God will provide the lamb for the burnt offering.”  Then the two of them went on together.

When they arrived at the place God had pointed out, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood.  Then he tied up his child Isaac and put him on the altar on top of the wood.  Abraham stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill the child.  But the angel of God called to him from heaven.  “Abraham, Abraham!” the angel said.  “I am here,” he replied.  “Do not raise your hand against the boy,” the angel said.  “Do not do the least thing to him.  I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not refuse me your son, your only child.”  Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush.  Abraham called the place “God provides,” as it is said to this day:  On the mountain God provides.

The angel of God called Abraham a second time from heaven.  “I swear by my Self – it is God who speaks – because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only child, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore.  Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth will find blessings – all this because you obeyed my command.”

The Word of God recorded in Genesis.

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