17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 24

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Last week we met three visitors whom Abraham welcomed into his home. One of them was the Lord himself. In today’s reading, Abraham engages the Lord in a negotiation about the fate of the corrupt city of Sodom. The issue is God’s judgment, how the good and the evil are to be separated and treated differently according to their deserts.
The Church gives us this reading today because Abraham is pleading with God, petitioning the Lord’s mercy—just as Jesus in the gospel instructs us to petition the Lord in prayer.
Don’t be afraid to let a smile cross your face and perhaps a slight chuckle emerge from you lips as you hear the exaggerated negotiating tactics Abraham employs to get his way with the Lord. Despite the levity of the reading, it communicates the same truth that Jesus emphasizes concerning the power of prayer.
The second reading expresses a favorite truth that Paul preached so often, that through baptism we are joined to Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ has brought us to life, having forgiven us all our transgressions is the source of our freedom from sin and guilt.
—Walter Modrys SJ

This week’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.