July 28, 2013: 17th 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 parent among you would hand his child a snake when she 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?” (Luke 11:1-13)
Imagine the scene. Why do you think the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” What do you think they noticed that made them ask that question? Did Jesus look different when he prayed? Did he spend a very long time praying? Was he different with them when he came back from praying? Are you different after you pray?
Try praying the familiar prayer with a new beginning “Our Mother, Father, God, who loves us more than our human parents ever could, may your name be honored.” Pray for someone you think needs help, such as someone you heard about on television or a family member who is sick or in trouble.