Much has been made of the sins of Sodom and Gomorah. The current edition of the NAB has in Gn 19, 5 “that we might have sexual relations with them.” One translation has “that we might abuse them.” It is this violation of hospitality for which the cities are punished. Troubles begin with these cities in Gn 14 already, stories of violent warfare and unjust acquit ion of war booty, especially enslaving people.

Because the Gospel reading which holds first place in the homiletics for the Sunday has nothing to do with homosexuality and the so-called homosexual agenda, it is arguably inappropriate to use the Sunday homily to go off on the topic. The Gospel is about prayer and hospitality, and this takes precedence.

In any event the first reading from Genesis is also about prayer, petitioning and even arguing with God to save the cities. This aspect of the tory is much more interesting and relevant than other aspects of this story. Abraham seems to win the contests with God, but that the number in Lot’s family falls short of the ten. Abraham’s rhetorical skill is very entertaining, reflecting the cleverness of his rationale.

Abraham is praying for his enemies, as Jesus commanded us to do. Go back to Gn 14 for the story of the battles of the four kings with Abraham victorious. We find this very difficult to do today in our culture.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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