Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"We can work it out..."

I love Scripture – good thing since lectio divina is integral to the monastic life. I usually do lectio with the readings in the Lectionary – the Word proclaimed around the world at the daily Eucharist. This morning, the universal Church heard the story of the parting of Abram and his nephew, Lot. The two, prospering in their respective herds, found the resources of the land insufficient for their needs. “…their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.” Abram, being the elder, could have literally told Lot where to go. Instead, Abram gave Lot the choice. “If you prefer the left, I will go to the right; if you prefer the right, I will go to the left." Not surprisingly, Lot surveys the land and selects for himself the choicest territory. The two part with a mutual blessing.

Now, how many people would give up first choice, as Abram did? I am not pessimistic about our human nature, but Abram’s selfless choice seems rather heroic. Most people spend a good deal of time thinking about what’s best for them. In giving Lot the “long straw,” Abram is setting a powerful example. Imagine a world in which the good of the other were the operative principle. Saint Benedict believed it was essential in the spiritual journey. “No one is to pursue what she judges better for herself, but instead, what she judges better for someone else (RB 72).” How the world might look if this verse became a global reality. Imagine…Israel and Palestine…India and Pakistan…North and South Korea. Abraham, progenitor of Jews, Christians and Muslims, has, in a few short verses, shown us the way.

Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki