July 1, 2019
(St. Junipero Serra, Priest)
While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said: “Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?” Gn_18:16-33
A scribe approached and said to him (Jesus), “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Mt_8:18-22
Jesus has a way of easily seeing through some of our most hidden ulterior motives. Can you just picture that scribe all ready to head-out with Jesus, tablet in hand, earbuds plugged in, and all loaded up with his backpack, folding lounge chair and beach umbrella.
It’s funny how sometimes those ulterior motives can be pretty obvious. And actually pretty upsetting. And there’s our lesson!
Jesus didn’t, just say “Beat it” to either of his two lost followers today. Instead he offered loving responses, that showed, both His understanding of their misconstrued interest, and it clearly described the challenges of true discipleship. Following Jesus was not a mission for the faint of heart.
And neither was the mission of God in resolving the gross injustice that was happening in Sodom and Gomorrah. Any of you who are a parent can just picture the discussion that Abraham was having with God. It was one of those “Yeah but, what if” discussions. And from Abraham’s point of view, he was perfectly justified, as our children often are, in bringing to God’s and our attention – what may feel like – impetuous injustice on our part.
Of course we know that God knew perfectly well the implications of the cleansing of those two towns of their evil. And He also knew, in His boundless and merciful love, that He would never harm those few righteous innocents. So maybe this “Yeah but, what if” discussion with Abraham was just God’s test, God’s lesson, to see how merciful, how loving Abraham really was himself.
Ever have those moments, brothers and sisters – when you just want to zoom up past that mindless person who just cut you off, and jam on your breaks in front of her.
And yet something inside of you says NO, that’s not what Jesus would do!
Something inside of you says, NO, I’m better than that!
Or maybe there’s even that little hint of compassion, that blessed love, that says, “I’ll pray you and for all the other drivers you encounter today.” . . . Because THAT’s what God would do for us!
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