FIRST READING: Genesis 18: 16 - 33
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way.
17 The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
18 seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him?
19 No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him."
20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave,
21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know."
22 So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the LORD.
23 Then Abraham drew near, and said, "Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 And the LORD said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Abraham answered, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Wilt thou destroy the whole city for lack of five?" And he said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
29 Again he spoke to him, and said, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it."
30 Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there."
31 He said, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it."
32 Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there." He answered, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it."
33 And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
PSALM: Psalms 103: 1 - 4, 8 - 11
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
GOSPEL: Matthew 8: 18 - 22
18 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.
19 And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
21 Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
22 But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."