In today’s readings we see the first steps of two connected legacies being assured. In the First Reading Sarah’s death and Abraham’s old age show a generation passing and the need to ensure a legacy of blessings for the generations to come. Abraham paves the way for his son Isaac, the inheritor and custodian of the promises of God, to marry and become a patriarch in his own right. His inheritance is not just material wealth; it is to transmit the faith and promises that the Lord made to Abraham, promises underway: a great nation, and a land to call their own. Isaac himself is the first sign of God fulfilling his promises.
In today’s Gospel Our Lord calls Matthew to be one of his apostles. Our Lord himself would be the one to definitively fulfill the promises made to Abraham: beyond the earthly promised land and simply biological progeny, Our Lord would become a blessing for all nations, gathering them in the Promised Land of Heaven for all eternity. The Apostles would be entrusted with this inheritance, including Matthew, and transmit it to future generations of believers: the Gospel.
Both Abraham and Matthew knew that if they turned back to their past they’d lose all the Lord had given them: Abraham was called out of the land of his birth and his kin in faith and insists that Isaac not return there for any reason. It’s as if doing so would be turning his back on the faith and promises that had taken him so far. Similarly, Matthew turned his back on sin and never looked back.
We are the inheritors of the Gospel too. Let’s transmit it to future generations as our legacy and never look back to the life we lived before we received it.
Readings: Genesis 23:1–4, 19, 24:1–8, 62–67; Psalm 106:1b–5; Matthew 9:9–13. See also St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.