Daily homily thoughts, 6/30

Today’s first reading from Genesis highlights a theme of the OT, and in fact a theme of our Christian life. The theme is life. Here you have Abraham and Sarah, 99 years old, still praying for the gift of a child. And God gives them Issac, and their prayers are answered. And not just Issac, but God gives them descendants as many as the grains of sand. We love life.  It is God’s great gift.  There are a thousand types of butterfly. There are countless species of insect. We are surrounded by life–it is everywhere. That is by God’s design. And the most important life is human life, which is why we defend it so. And God says, this life is pretty good–but I have an even better life in store, eternal life, if only you are faithful and give your lives back to me?  Today we celebrate the early Roman Martyrs, men and women who did just that. They were burned and tortured and crucified in the emperor Nero’s garden on this day in the year 64. They shed their blood, they gave their lives back to God.  The gift of life.  We receive divine life from this table, blessed are those called to it.