17th Sunday of the Year (C) 2019

As you are probably aware, before the art of writing was discovered, events of importance were passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth by the retelling of stories and legends. People being people, these stories were embroidered and exaggerated down the centuries.
The stories of events recounted in the Book of Genesis such as the Tower of Babel, Noah and the Flood, and of course todays story about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah all had their beginnings in events or natural disasters in the dim and distant past.
For example archaeologists and geologists have recently found evidence of the occurrence of a massive earthquake or landslide in the Dear Sea region (where Sodom and Gomorrah were situated) which would have wiped out structures and inhabitants of the region at that time. There would be much rumbling, earth shaking and smoke or dust clouds.
The memory of this event, passed on by oral tradition, was taken up by the authors of the Book of Genesis and used as a story to illustrate the sinfulness of human beings and the trouble that we bring on ourselves by our greed, selfishness and rampant ambition.
There is certainly a message here for us today when naked ambition, greed and selfishness, at a personal and national level, is ratcheting up hatred and intolerance. If things continue as they are, if lies and deliberate misrepresentation continue at the present pace it may end up in a major misunderstanding and crisis in which we will all suffer.
Remember the message that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is meant to convey and like Abraham pray for deliverance.