Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Genesis 13,2.5-18

Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold. Lot, who was travelling with Abram, had flocks and cattle of his own, and tents too. The land was not sufficient to accommodate them both at once, for they had too many possessions to be able to live together. Dispute broke out between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and those of Lot. (The Canaanites and Perizzites were living in the country at the time.) Accordingly Abram said to Lot, 'We do not want discord between us or between my herdsmen and yours, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land open before you? Go in the opposite direction to me: if you take the left, I shall go right; if you take the right, I shall go left.' Looking round, Lot saw all the Jordan plain, irrigated everywhere -- this was before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah-like the garden of Yahweh or the land of Egypt, as far as Zoar. So Lot chose all the Jordan plain for himself and moved off eastwards. Thus they parted company: Abram settled in the land of Canaan; Lot settled among the cities of the plain, pitching his tents on the outskirts of Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were vicious and great sinners against Yahweh. Yahweh said to Abram after Lot had parted company from him, 'Look all round from where you are, to north and south, to east and west, for all the land within sight I shall give to you and your descendants for ever. I shall make your descendants like the dust on the ground; when people succeed in counting the specks of dust on the ground, then they will be able to count your descendants too! On your feet! Travel the length and breadth of the country, for I mean to give it to you.' So Abram moved his tent and went to settle at the Oak of Mamre, at Hebron, and there he built an altar to Yahweh.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Abraham lived in a world of conflicts, quarrels, and wars. But he continues to live the vocation that God has entrusted to humanity: to be brothers and sisters to one another. Abraham and Lot owned so much riches and livestock that the territory where they lived did not allow an easy coexistence. A quarrel arose between "the herders of Abram's livestock and the herders of Lot's livestock" and endangered their fraternity. This had already happened to Cain, who did not accept the diversity and weakness of Abel and killed him. Since then every homicide is always a fratricide. The temptation of being alone becomes easily the desire of being the only ones and the conclusion is the elimination of the other. Abraham is a man of peace and fraternity because he follows and listens to the Word of God. He said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me... Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left." In order to defend the value of fraternity and to live in harmony, Abraham even refuses the most beautiful part of the land God has promised to him, for his brother Lot wanted it. It is an extraordinary gesture that shows the strength of Abraham who puts fraternity above all other interests. Abraham knows well that discord is always a harbinger of violence and conflict. Faith leads Abraham to be the guardian of fraternity. This gesture of Abraham is an example of extraordinary strength that should inspire all his children even today. Believers are called - especially today - to guard fraternity among peoples. Lot settles in Sodom, a city that was already sad and violent, while Abraham goes towards the land of Canaan, but with the Lord at his side. It is true Abraham does not have his brother at his side, but the Lord is with him. He puts up his tent in Mamre where the Lord will come and visit him.