CCC 332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham’s hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples.1 Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.2
CCC 343 Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.3
CCC 706 Against all human hope, God promises descendants to Abraham, as the fruit of faith and of the power of the Holy Spirit.4 In Abraham’s progeny all the nations of the earth will be blessed. This progeny will be Christ himself,5 in whom the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will “gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.”6 God commits himself by his own solemn oath to giving his beloved Son and “the promised Holy Spirit. .. [who is] the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.”7
CCC 1819 Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin and model in the hope of Abraham, who was blessed abundantly by the promises of God fulfilled in Isaac, and who was purified by the test of the sacrifice.8 “Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became the father of many nations.”9
CCC 2572 As a final stage in the purification of his faith, Abraham, “who had received the promises,”10 is asked to sacrifice the son God had given him. Abraham’s faith does not weaken (“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering.”), for he “considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead.”11 And so the father of believers is conformed to the likeness of the Father who will not spare his own Son but will deliver him up for us all.12 Prayer restores man to God’s likeness and enables him to share in the power of God’s love that saves the multitude.13
1 Cf. Job 38:7 (where angels are called “sons of God”); Gen 3:24; 19; 21: 17; 22:11; Acts 7:53; Ex 23:20-23; Judg 13; 6:11-24; Is 6:6; 1 Kings 19:5.
2 Cf. Lk 1:11, 26.
3 Cf. Gen 1-26.
4 Cf. Gen 18:1-15; Lk 1:26-38. 54-55; Jn 1:12-13; Rom 4:16-21.
5 Cf. Gen 12:3; Gal 3:16.
6 Cf. In 11:52.
7 Eph 1:13-14; cf. Gen 22:17-19; Lk 1:73; Jn 3:16; Rom 8:32; Gal 3:14.
8 Cf. Gen 17:4-8; 22:1-18.
9 Rom 4:18.
10 Heb 11:17.
11 Gen 22:8; Heb 11:19
12 Rom 8:32.
13 Cf. Rom 8:16-21.