Genesis 22:9-18; Psalm 39(40):7-10,17; Matthew 26:36-42
We see two sacrifices today. In our Genesis reading Abraham obeys God his father and goes to sacrifice his son Isaac. And Jesus's prayer in Gethsemene is a model of how to pray when it looks as though God is asking us to make a tough decision - I hope God, that you do not want me to do this thing that will lead to me suffering ... but I will do what you ask of me, whatever that may be.
Anyone who serves the Lord is likely to need to make sacrifices. There are the ordinary kind - such as deciding to take a longer, slower journey on public transport rather than a quicker, convenient one. God wants us to walk gently on his creation. Then there are the extraordinary ones - to give ones life in service of others as care workers, nurses, religious sisters and priests do. Everyday, extraordinary sacrifices.
Psalm 39 reminds us that God actually does not want the holocaust - as Abraham was about to offer. God stops Abraham offering his son - not just to save a human life, but because he now knows that Abraham is willing to give to God anything that God needs. In return God provides everything needed to make the sacrifice - the Ram is at hand.
God just wants us to listen and then to do his will. God will give to us the energy, skills, words, knowledge needed to carry out his will - we just need to trust in him.