Brian’s Reflection: Monday, July 26, 2010
Abraham confronted [God], "Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid
of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people
left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? …..
[ 40, 30, 20, 10 ] ….. What if you only come up with ten?" "For the sake of only ten,
I won't destroy the city."
from Genesis 18 [The Message] – The Gospel reading for Pentecost IX
The story of Abraham we hear today reveals what I think is the most exciting dimension of the Mystery called Prayer.
Most people think that this is a story about God. About God being convinced to “change Her mind”.
It isn’t. It’s a story about us. It’s about our Journey into the depth of Mystery of God and the Mystery of our true Selves - which ultimately, so the mystics tell us, are the same thing. It’s about us changing our minds, our perceptions, our understanding. It’s Abraham who sees, step by step, deeper into the Mystery of God’s Justice and Compassion, deeper into the Mystery of what it means to be Human.
I have no doubt that Abraham would have worked God down to 1, maybe even none!. Perhaps that he only got to 10 is a sign to us that the Journey into God and Self never ends. There is always a deeper layer. Step by step, Abraham was challenging himself, opening himself to a fuller and deeper understanding and experience of the Mystery we call God.
Abraham – and we – are exploring the Question: “Just how extravagant, how generous, is God’s love and compassion for us?” This story asks us to contemplate the Mystery of both God’s and our infinite capacity for Compassion.