Readings and Reflection for June 28 Monday Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr (M)

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FIRST READING     
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 18:16-33)
“Will you indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?”

The men set out from the Oaks of Mamre, and they looked towards Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way. The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him? No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know.” So the men turned from there, and went towards Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” Again he spoke to him, and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” He said, “Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM     Psalm 103:1-2.3-4.8-9.10-11 (R. 8a)
R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and never forget all his benefits. R/

It is the Lord who forgives all your sins,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with mercy and compassion. R/.

R/. The Lord is compassionate and gracious.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He will not always find fault;
nor persist in his anger forever. R/.

He does not treat us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our faults.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so strong his mercy for those who fear him. R/.

Alleluia Psalm 95:7d.8a
Alleluia. Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 8:18-22)
“Follow me.”

At that time: When Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

There was no need for the Lord to tell Abraham what he intended for Sodom and Gomorrah, but he did. The Lord had “singled him out” to direct others in his way, and this was certainly a teachable moment. Despite Abraham’s seemingly unending pleas and the Lord’s limitless patience, it really didn’t matter what the nature of Sodom and Gomorrah’s wickedness was. Regardless of what had transpired, the lord was ready to offer another chance to all for the sake of the innocent, if any could be found. We too are called to direct others in the way of the Lord. How widespread is the wickedness in our world! What are we doing to ensure that some innocence can be found?

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