SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
JULY 27-28, 2019
Even though I already know the way the story ends, every time I hear Abraham asking God over and over again if he will spare the city for a certain number of innocent people, I keep expecting God to lose patience and tell Abraham “enough already!” As a matter of fact, Abraham starts to get on my nerves before the end of the story.
But, God’s patience is just as boundless as his mercy. He listens carefully to each of Abraham’s pleas and promises not to destroy the city even if there are only ten innocent people there.
What a comforting image this presents for our own prayer life! First of all, God is approachable; open to our suggestions; and willing to enter into dialogue with us.
Next, God never loses patience with us. Regardless of how many times we approach him for forgiveness for that sin which we just haven’t been able to conquer, he is ready with a merciful response. Even if we pray day and night for a particular problem or concern, he never grows tired of listening to our requests.
Finally, God’s interaction with Abraham also illustrates the fact that God wants us to pray for others – even those who drift away from God or live sinful lives. We can call God’s compassion down on these people just by lifting them up to him in prayer. We may never know the full impact that we have in the lives of others through our faithful, persistent prayer.