Vol: 43, No.42 17TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( C) July 24 2016  
God is in his holy place, God who unites those who dwell in his house; he himself gives might and strength to his people. (Ps 67:6-7, 36)

“Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find” is a well known saying of Jesus coming from the Sermon on the Mount. The ancient people also knew this for we see Abraham pleading with God against the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah along with its inhabitants. Though God listened to Abraham patiently his prayer could not be granted for there was no more than one righteous person in the above cities. Jesus says that if anyone prays for a sincere purpose, his prayer will be heard such as asking for daily bread, forgiveness of sins and for gifts of the Holy Spirit such as wisdom, fortitude, knowledge, fear of the Lord. These will never be denied. What am I asking in my prayer? Am I frustrated when prayers are not answered? (Pause)

I confess to almighty God/.....
Glory to God in the highest...
O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has firm foundation, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(God will not destroy the righteous for the sins of the wicked, but Abraham realizes that there is no more than one righteous person in Sodom and Gomorrah).
A reading from the Book of Genesis (18:20-32)
The Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know.”
So the men turned from there, and went towards Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near, and said, “Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Wilt thou destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-
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