Moving On From Lot’s Wife

I’ve always loved the cheek of bargaining with God in Genesis 18. Abraham is well aware of his creaturely status, but comes back again and again to make his case for a few innocents in Sodom. He’s thinking of Lot, no doubt.

Over the years, I’ve also heard Lot’s wife mentioned on the 17th Ordinary Sunday, cycle C. I just want to exclaim, wth. She’s not in this reading. The Gospel is about persistence in prayer. Jesus reminds those following him in Luke 11 to ask, seek, knock, and to do so at the most inopportune hours of the night. The sin of Sodom is part of the setting of today’s Lectionary. It’s not central to the story. It’s sort of like how some Catholics harp on the “miracle of sharing” as it is sometimes preached.

An old essay of mine is still online here. It recounts my first prayer. Not the Lord’s Prayer. Not get me an A, or a football, or fill my siblings’ beds with spiders. “Arrange things so that my mother will ask me if I want to be baptized.” Simple as that. When my 6th grade Catholic classmates went to Communion, I stayed in the pew and prayed my intention.

The Lord impressed on me power of prayer, as you read from the story of my baptism. I was learning the script with my classmates: catching up with the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. Memorizing the various acts of virtues and the Morning Offering. But I also learned to go to God with real needs and desires.

Looking back, I think God’s grace was more constant than my listening ear. I missed a lot of signals in high school, college, and young adulthood. I probably miss quite a few still.

Persistent prayer isn’t a game God plays with us, like: for every thousand supplications we are granted one wish. Persistence forms an attitude. Persistence leads to constancy. Constancy defines a relationship with a real person. After time, it becomes less about the asking. I can appreciate knocking on a friend’s door, not for midnight supplies, but for time to talk something over. Do you suppose God appreciates our willingness to just talk, to just be his friend.

And with so much to say about Luke 11, here’s to leaving Lot’s wife as that salt mound in the ancient outskirts of Sodom.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Moving On From Lot’s Wife

  1. Liam says:

    I am not aware of anyone ever noting the curious synchronicity of the lections for this and the preceding Sundays of Ordinary TIme: the first reading today is part of the same chapter of Genesis as read last week (five and a half verses about Sarah’s reaction to God’s promise are dropped), and this week’s Lucan Gospel pericope immediately follows last week’s about Martha and Mary.

    And today’s passage from Genesis 18 was later taken by rabbis as the foundation for the minyan – the necessary 10 men in order to convene for a public reading of the Torah.

    And it’s Martha rather than Mary of Bethany who eventually turns out to be like Abraham: in John 11, it is she who insists on Jesus ability to raise Lazarus, and she effectively makes two confessions of faith in Jesus – before Jesus has died and risen.

  2. FrMichael says:

    The semi-continuous readings for the past few weeks have been a gift to the preacher. It’s been fun preaching the past three weeks, being able to build on previous weeks’ homilies.

    • Todd says:

      I wish more homilists had that approach. Lots of lovely narrative streams in the Gospels. The way they the Sunday Lectionary was designed facilitates that.

  3. Dick Martin says:

    Ephesians 1:10(NKJV)
    that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. God dealt with man through Dispensations from Adam to the present Age. At present the Dispensation of GRACE. the New testament replaces the Old testament; that is why it’s called Old. New always replaces the Old.
    Hebrews 8:6-7(NKJV)
    But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
    For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
    Hebrews 8:12-13(NKJV)
    For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
    In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. I am not saying that there is no benefit to the Old Testament; it is full of Wisdom. Prophesy, etc. but The New is where our Salvation is Found. No one was ever Justified by keeping the Law. We are now saved by The UNMERITED FAVOR of God; Through His Dispensation of GRACE. All of the above is Scriptural.

  4. Dick Martin says:

    Ephesians 2:14-18(NKJV)
    For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
    having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
    and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
    And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
    For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Note verse: stating that Jesus abolished the Law. Only for those who have been Born Again.( The Righteous ones).
    1 Timothy 1:9-11(NKJV)
    knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
    for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
    according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. Once you have received the Robe of righteousness you are redeemed from the Law. Thus my quote prior to this becomes OBSOLETE>

  5. Dick Martin says:

    Romans 8:1-4(NKJV)
    There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
    For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
    that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. The 10 Commandments are called the ” LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.; And has been replaced with a New Law;” Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ.” In Christ there is NO condemnation. Quoting Jesus, ”
    John 5:24(NKJV)
    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. When your born again you pass from death into Life. No Judgment necessary because Our Sins have been dealt with. Thank You Jesus…

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