Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 24, 2016 – Year C
Readings: Gn 18:20-32 / Ps 138 / Col 2:12-14 / Lk 11:1-13
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Three days ago, Tom Messier called us to tell us the good news that the Town of Bedford made official the name of the access road alongside our church, as “Mary’s Way.” Some of you may have noticed that the sign is already in place. If you have not seen it but are a Facebook friend of Holy Name of Mary, you’ve at least seen the picture. We would like to thank Tom for all his effort in making this possible.
But for us here, “Mary’s Way” is more than just the name of a road. It reminds us to ask ourselves, every time we face a challenging situation or problem: What do we think would be Mary’s way of solving it? The Church tradition tells us that, after our Lord’s ascension into heaven, Peter and the rest of the disciples would often go to the house of the apostle John, where the Blessed Mother was living, to ask for her guidance.
Mary was always there for them. And she will always be there for all of us, her children. Mary’s apparitions all over the world attest to this. Of course, she will always tell us the same words she said to the servants during the wedding at Cana: “Do whatever Jesus tells you.” In today’s gospel, Jesus is telling us and teaching us how to pray.
The first reading today comes from Chapter 18 of the Book of Genesis. Abraham was talking to God in a very personal way and making a bargain, before God would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. That is why Abraham was asking the Lord, “What if there are fifty innocent people there? Are you going to destroy the whole city, even those fifty?” We have heard that God said, “No, I’m not going to destroy it.” Then Abraham kept on going down: forty, thirty, and unfortunately he stopped at ten. “What if there are only ten?”
But as we know, if we continue reading the story, they didn’t find ten innocent people there. Maybe if Abraham just kept on going down, “What if there was only one?” Maybe Sodom and Gomorrah could have been saved. But he stopped, and he probably underestimated God’s generosity and mercy.
This same God that Abraham is calling “Lord” is the same God whom Jesus is asking us to call our Father. And He’s telling us not to easily give up, but to persist in prayer. Because, in the end, although God may not always give us what we want, He will always give us what we need.
So the next time we encounter problems or difficulties, which happens pretty much every day, it would be wise to ask: “What would Mary say or do in this particular situation?” She will probably tell us, before you google it or ask your friends or other experts for advice, spend some time in prayer first. And with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, do whatever Jesus will tell you to do, and everything in your life will fall into their proper places.
This is Mary’s Way, and if we follow her, she will always lead us to her Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.