“Here I am.” Hineini in Hebrew. A phrase used three times by Abraham in this relatively short passage. A phrase that acts in the Torah as a narrative pivot, a turning point, as the one who utters it responds to God – or another person − in readiness, vulnerability, and expectation. “Here I am” – as if to say: I am present with my whole heart to the need or command before me. I do not know what it will demand of me, nor do I know how it may change me. I am present to this encounter. I am present to this challenge. I am present to this possibility.
Abraham responds, “Here I am” to the God who calls him by name. He replies, “Here I am” to his son Isaac, who asks innocently “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” And he utters, “Here I am” to the Angel of the Lord, who intervenes at the final moment, revealing God’s true intention.
Genesis 22: 1-14 Psalm 16
Romans 8: 31-39 Mark 8: 31-38
Peter is the Everyman of the Gospels. He also serves other purposes. In last week’s Gospel Satan tried to tempt Jesus off his path. This week Peter is Satan. We, like Peter, become Satan when we set our minds on earthly things and ignore divine things.