LMU Library News

Seven Days, Seven Pages: Celebrating the Saint John’s Bible & the Papal Visit to the U.S. – Day 2


In celebration of Pope Francis's upcoming visit to the U.S., the Department of Archives & Special Collections at LMU's William H. Hannon Library invites you to view its copy of the Saint John's Bible on display for seven days: Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 27, 2015. This Department is open to the public and all are welcome.

In conjunction with this celebration, seven images from the Saint John's Bible and seven reflective essays will be published on this blog for seven days: Monday, September 21 – Sunday, September 28, 2015. 

Day 2 - Abraham-and-Sarah

(©Abraham and Sarah, Donald Jackson, 2003, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, CatholicEdition, ©1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in theUnited States of America.  Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

Illuminating the Mission

Day Two • Page Two:  A Reflection on Abraham and Sarah

Rev. Michael Patella, OSB

The Menorah, the ancient symbol of Judaism, repeats across the double folio, dominating the illumination.  This is the moment in salvation history where the Lord seals the covenant with Abraham, a moment so important that it is recounted twice, once at Genesis 15:1-21 and again at Genesis 17:1-19.

While Abraham also has a son, Ishmael, through Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar, the Lord forms his covenant through Isaac, the son of Abraham and his wife, Sarah.  Their descendants include Isaac and Rebekah’s son, Jacob, and his twelve sons along with the whole royal line of David, a lineage that ends with Jesus.  For this reason, the Menorah also becomes the primary symbol in the Matthew frontispiece, which recites Jesus’ genealogy and confirms his connection with the Abrahamic Covenant.

Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium, that this covenant between God and the Jewish people has never been revoked (247). As Christians we must honor the sacred roots that our identity has in Judaism. We are enriched by the complementarity of our concern for justice and well-being of peoples, which we have inherited from the Jewish tradition (247-249).

In what ways do you hold the covenant sacred over time?