Ordinary Time
Friday of the Twelfth Week

“Abraham fell face down and laughed as he said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at ninety?”” (Genesis 17:17.)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“One should consider the fact that Abraham was uncircumcised when God called him, and he was still uncircumcised when he was promised a legitimate son as heir. You are hereby invited to believe that he is not only the father of the Jews, as they claim, but the progenitor, through faith, of all believers. Sarah also, before the circumcision of her husband and by the addition of one letter to her name, receives the blessing of no small gift, so that she might have the primacy of virtue and of grace. God promises that from her nations and kings of peoples will come, so that in her might be established the type not of the synagogue but of the church. The fact that Abraham laughed when he had been promised a son through her was an expression not of unbelief but of joy. Indeed, he “fell on his face” — in worship, which means he believed. And he added, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And he said, “O that Ishmael might live in thy sight!” He is not incredulous with regard to the promises, nor is he greedy in what he asks for in prayer. “I have no doubt that you will come through, granting a son to an old man of a hundred years and that, as the author of nature, you will effectively stretch its limits. Blessed indeed is the one on whom this gift is bestowed; but I will be doubly favored if even this Ishmael here, whom I begot from the household slave, should live in your presence.” And so the Lord approved Abraham’s sentiments, did not deny his request and confirmed his own promises.” (On Abraham, 1.)

Grant, O Lord,
that we may always revere and love
Your holy name,
for You never deprive of Your guidance
those You set firm
on the foundation of Your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen