Interpretation of readings from the seventeenth Sunday in the annual cycle / year of reading C – Church + Life

God is love. This is also evident in today’s reading, where Abraham bargained with him over people’s lives, says Professor Thomas Molenbeek in his interpretation of the Sunday texts.

It’s like a marketplace: Abraham bargained with God about the lives of his nephew Lot and his family in Sodom and Gomorrah. Cities are on the brink of perdition because “the cry of mourning has risen, and their sin is dangerous, yes, it is dangerous” But God surely cannot kill the just with the unjust! If there are still 50 righteous people, will God refrain from punishing them? yes! Even if it was only 45? yes! 40? yes! 30? yes! 20? yes! ten? yes!

Abraham bargained with God – what is all this? Does the number of the just have to be true so that the unjust can be saved? Is it enough for ten people who did the will of God? Can God then ignore what others do? number! This path is blocked when God is God and sin remains sin. If God truly is God, He cannot forever ignore man’s lament and sin because there are few righteous. Sin is a sin unless he personally repents; God is God who cannot forgive sin unless he repents. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.

God is love – and therefore He is infinitely good

You can listen to readings from the 17th Sunday of the year (the year C reading) here.

That is why Paul says in Colossians: “The only righteous one has written off the debt that spoke to us all.” Jesus Christ “paid the debt by nailing Him to the cross.” How could this righteous person do that? How could this enable everyone to be forgiven of their personal sins? Open the treasure chest Theologian – we find in it God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ.

God is love, that is, because God is infinite, and because He is love, He is infinitely good. Therefore, God can only judge what is good. Even in ancient times, “idem velle – idem nolle” was applied, friends want the same and refuse the same. If man does not want what God wants, then this man does not want good. So he cannot be God’s friend. God can’t agree to that – but this isn’t a personal sin yet. Personal sin can only be what a person freely desires. Our conscience can become so corrupt that we no longer hear the echo of God’s voice in our hearts. The fool acts against the will of God, but he does not want to be evil. Personal sin begins when one does not want to know what God wants. So he does not want to be God’s friend.

“Your will will happen”

author
Thomas Molenbeck is Professor of Doctrines and History of Doctrines at the University of Philosophy and Theology in Münster. | Photo: private

In the Gospel, the disciples ask Jesus: “Teach us to pray.” Then they accept the Lord’s Prayer: May his name be sanctified. May his kingdom come. May the bread we really need come to us. He may forgive us because we too are willing to forgive; Stay strong in temptation! Your “will” is found in every request. In the olive grove, Jesus himself prays that the father would take the cup of pain and death from him if he wanted, but “not my will, but yours.” This is the special feature of the prayer and work of Jesus Christ: He is the only man who fully fulfills the will of the Father.

We cannot achieve this quality of being alone. But we must strive for it – seeking and asking, then giving, then finding; And if we knock, it will open to us, says Jesus. Jesus promises that God will help us if we strive for this advantage in our prayer and work: “If you then, wicked ones, give to your children what is good, how much more the Father who is in heaven gives the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him.”

forgiveness for all

What this person did – Jesus – can make personal forgiveness of sin possible for everyone. In the Holy Spirit, out of divine love, we can repent that we are not righteous before God. That is why the last Passover prayer says about the Holy Spirit: “It is the forgiveness of sins.”

Through him we can be drawn to Christ – the Eucharist in his sacrifice on the cross, confession in the sacrament of confession and primarily in baptism, as Paul says: “You were buried with Christ in baptism, and with him you were also raised by faith in the power of God. … You were dead because of your sins. …but God made you live with Christ and forgave us all our sins.”

You can find all the texts of the readings for the 17th Sunday of the year (the year C reading) here.

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