Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 13:2.5-18; Matthew 7:6.12-14)
If Abram is to be the patriarch of a great nation, he must not be greedy and treacherous. Rather diligence and magnanimity befit one whose descendants will number like particles of dust on the earth. Abram’s hard work has made him rich; in the first reading today he displays his golden nature. When he realizes that his and his nephew’s Lot households are too large and complex to dwell together, he asks Lot to depart but does not dictate where Lot is to go. A fair way to determine who will keep what land would be to cast lots or flip a coin. But Abram proves himself more than fair by giving Lot his preference. Shrewdly but unwisely Lot picks the more favorable plains to the east. There he will mix with city dwellers who incur God’s wrath. Meanwhile, God blesses Abram again for his nobility of spirit.
In the gospel Jesus warns his disciples that they should avoid the easy way in life, no doubt referring to “easy money” gained dishonestly or “adult recreation” achieved by degrading others. He might have his ancestor Abram in mind when he gives this lesson.