Commentary on the Gospel of
Today’s Gospel reading can only be described as sobering. Indeed, our times today might seem like Noah’s time where everyone seems distracted, distanced from God, unable to concentrate on what is important; that is what God calls us to do. This passage is a call to urgency to really discern what our priorities should be and to act on those same priorities.
Lot’s wife, against advice, looked back and was immobilized and turned into a pillar of salt. Metaphorically she could not leave the past behind. What in our life experiences do we not leave behind? What are the barriers we have that prevent us from fully embracing God’s love and guidance? Luke’s admonition is not centered on our activities of life but on our lack of attentiveness to what we are doing and what God is doing within us. Saint Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises asks us to seek an inner freedom from disordered attachments in order to be open to God’s unconditional love for us—and to the movements of the Holy Spirit within us too guide our actions and activities. Luke reminds us that all in this life is passing—a pilgrimage if you will—where we are on our way to our final home in heaven. We should not then be tied to the shifting sands of our earthly life but on the solid foundation of God’s vision for us.
Do we have true inner freedom? A pastor asked his congregation: “Do you want to go to heaven?” Of course all responded with a resounding “Yes!” He went on, “Good. Who wants to go to heaven now?” And there was silence.
A challenging question indeed.