Reflection on the Daily Readings for 6/23/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Genesis 13:2.5-18. Psalm 15:2-3.3-4.5. Matthew 7:6,12-14.
Lectionary # 372:
No wonder Abram becomes Abraham (the Father of all Peoples or Nations ) who
leads us to understand our faith in the light of his own calling and his
response to it in faith. Abram is conciliatory and generous beyond measure
with Lot, his nephew. The latter is very self-centered and concerned only
about getting the best so he chooses what he thinks is more verdant and
fruitful, the Jordan Valley including the Dead Sea area which is described
as verdant during that epoch. In his self-interest and hastiness he
believes it to be another garden of Eden but time will show that it is not
and soon becomes associated with sin through what will happen at Sodom and
Gemorrah. In a literary manner, Lot serves as a foil for Abram.
Abram continues to demonstrate his absolute trust in God and his promises.
Abram thus is faithful to the promise about the land named Canaan which Lot
is not interested in. Unlike Lot, Abram seals this decision with building
an altar to God which becomes one of his patterns of fidelity to the God of
the covenant. Lot, so to speak, continues on his merry way without any
altar being built to the God who gives him everything.
Abram is seen then from our Christian perspective of already having the
mindset of Jesus who says “Treat others the way you would have them treat
you.” This he does so well with Lot his nephew. Abram travels the narrow
path or as the poet Robert Frost says it so well in his poem entitled: “The
Road Not Taken”. It can be read in the telling of the story of Abram and
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Abram’s trust in God’s promises and in his confidence that God is always
there and alive for him, he makes the right decisions and choices in his
life. Our Psalm will complete what he will enjoy in its mention of Mount
Zion and the city of God–two themes and images that we must keep alive in
our own hearts. They will help us to take the road less traveled by. Jesus
words are “Enter through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to damnation
is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to tavel it. But how narrow is
the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who
find it.” Amen.