Abraham was in a bargaining mode with God as he sought to spare the city from divine condemnation. Abraham was acting boldly on the behalf of the people of Sodom. Yet his behavior towards God was not that unusual. One only needs to spend a day in a hospital to hear patients or family members also bargaining with God.
What do we hope to accomplish with our bartering? Certainly in the hospital setting the barterer hopes to have imminent death or loss of quality of life reversed. They desire to preserve the good as it was known prior to the accident or illness. While very important, is there more to the story?
The Gospel reading may help us probe further into our bargaining behavior. If parents know how to give what is good to their children, how much more will our heavenly Father? Perhaps in our heart of hearts, during our time of dire need we want to know that God is attentive, responsive and indeed gifts us with the greatest good even if it may not be the particular good we seek. When we are confronted with our inner poverty and loss we want to know that God is a faithful friend, one we can lean into even when the path takes us deeper into mystery as we face the unfolding consequences. The One who is good is always before us, within us, among us, sustaining us.
Sr. Mary Thomas
Senior Vice President Mission, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center
GENESIS 18:20-32 ● PSALM 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8 ● COLOSSIANS 2:12-14 ● LUKE 11:1-13