First Reading: Genesis 19:15-29
When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him forth and set him outside the city. And when they had brought them forth, they said, “Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley; flee to the hills, lest you be consumed.” And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lord, behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me, and I die. Behold, yonder city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there — is it not a little one? — and my life will be saved!” He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Make haste, escape there; for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zo’ar. The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zo’ar. Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomor’rah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot’s wife behind him looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD; and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomor’rah and toward all the land of the valley, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 26:2-3, 9-12
Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For thy steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to thee. Sweep me not away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men,men in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. But as for me, I walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the LORD.
Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Trust. That is a hard thing for some of us.
I ask you to put yourself in the boat, or in the position of Lot. How would you act? Lot literally had ANGELS take him by the arms and bring him out so as to save his human life. They gave him tangible instructions and told him what he was to do, and what he was not to do. He lingered, so they helped him more. And when he was safe, he argued with them about where he wanted to go.
God completely destroy the cities, yet He spared Lot’s life, and Lot still finds himself unable to completely follow God’s will. He lacks trust. He lacks faith. He was frightened.
The disciples also lack trust and faith in the awesomeness of our Lord and He was right there physically with them while they were frightened!
“Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?”
It is hard to imagine how they could fear anything while in His midst, but then these great and holy men were at this time without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Their fear shows us how normal they were.
They didn’t know what we know. They didn’t know about His death and resurrection. They hadn’t felt the holes in His hands. Like Lot, they just couldn’t grasp how awesome His power is.
We have Jesus right here for us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. I know how the story goes and I can kneel in His real presence. I have the grace of the Holy Spirit, and yet I am still stubborn. I know what He wants me to do and yet, like Lot, I try to negotiate with him. Like the disciples, I still get scared.
How is your faith today? Are you like Lot some days? Do you bargain with Him just a little? Take some extra time with Jesus this week. He will bring you peace. He will bring you comfort. Join me as I strive to say yes to God in everything.
MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here.