Bible Study


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time C Lectionary: 111

Reading 1 - Gn 18:20-23

In those days, the LORD said: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.” While Abraham’s visitors walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer and said: “Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?” The LORD replied, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Abraham spoke up again: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?” He answered, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.” But Abraham persisted, saying “What if only forty are found there?” He replied, “I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty.” Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.” Still Abraham went on, “Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?” The LORD answered, “I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty.” But he still persisted: “Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?” He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

Responsorial Psalm - PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called you answered me; you built up strength within me. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees, and the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me; against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. Your right hand saves me. The LORD will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O LORD, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Reading 2 - COL 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters: You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And even when you were dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.

Gospel - LK 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”


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These questions are for reflection and discussion, if you choose. Please understand that the homily may not address any of these questions directly. God speaks to hearts that are prepared.

  1. The first reading mentions the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah. (You may have to read the next chapter, Genesis 19, to understand th) Who is making this outcry? What is the purpose of the Lord’s visit to these cities? What is the meaning of the word sodomy?
  2. Abraham stops his request at ten innocent people. What does innocent mean here—that not even ten people could be found did not engage in the lewd and perverted acts of the Sodomites or that not even ten people could be found who did not approve of these acts (even if they themselves did not participate)?
  1. Why is Abraham concerned for the city of Sodom? Would you say there is any presumption in Abraham’s plea for Sodom? Do we ever pray presumptuously?
  2. Our Psalm says Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered m Can you think of times when God helped you in answer to your cry? Why do we so often wait until we are in trouble to ask for God’s help?
  3. According to our second reading, how is baptism like a burial? What is buried? How is it like a resurrection? Can you name anything more important than your baptism? How can we communicate that to our baptized children as they grow in our care?
  1. How is Luke’s version of the Our Father in our Gospel different from Matthew’s version that we all pray? What is the same?
  2. What is the point of the parable Jesus tells of the persistent friend? Have you ever needed this kind of persistence in prayer? Did Abraham demonstrate this persistence in his prayer?
  3. Jesus says that everyone who asks, receives and that God does not give us snakes when we ask for fish. Have you ever felt as if you got a snake in answer to your prayers, that you did not receive what you asked for? How did you handle it?
  4. Have you asked for the Holy Spirit as Jesus mentions? Do we receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation? Any other times? What could we do to be more aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
  5. What has God spoken to you, and what do you intend to do about it?

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
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Monday-Thursday; 8:00 AM Rectory Chapel

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday: 3:00-3:30 PM Church