Daily Reflection – July 24, 2016
Sunday 24 July 2016
First Reading: Genesis 18:20-32
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me
Psalm 137(138):1-3, 6-8
Second Reading: Colossians 2:12-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:1-13
Today’s Note: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
Do you pray with joy and confidence? The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer. Formal prayer was prescribed for three set times a day. And the rabbis had a prayer for every occasion. It was also a custom for rabbis to teach their disciples a simple prayer they might use on a regular basis. Today’s reading speaks of the prayer that unites all Christians, the Our Father. While there are still many different versions, the reading from Luke gives us a fair sense of how Jesus explicitly ‘taught us to pray.’
Jesus’ disciples ask him for such a prayer. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he gave them the disciple’s prayer, what we call the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer.
The Our Father is said at every mass, during every decade of the rosary. More importantly though, it is that prayer we can say when words fail us, when we are crying out to God ‘teach me to pray!’, indeed sometimes those very words are all we need to say: Lord, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done.