In Lent we read stories about Abraham - the description of God's covenant with him and the story of his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, for example. These stories have undergone a long process of telling and retelling. Many hands have worked over these stories, for theological purposes.
Nevertheless, the stories communicate the common understanding we share about Abraham; that is, his strong faith in God. We marvel at this man's willingness to trust God so much that he would undertake a long, difficult journey to seek a land and a heritage promised by God. Though separated by millennia and by different cultures, we are yet the children of Abraham.
In John's Gospel, Jesus confronts his opponents who claim that inheritance but fail to go beyond paying lip-service to it. Lent is all about renewing our faith in God through Jesus Christ, his Son.
May we use our Lenten immersion in the stories of faith as opportunities to allow God to strengthen and challenge that faith, as God did for Abraham. May we share our stories of faith with those entering the church this season.
(Greg Friedman O.F.M., Lent with the Saints)