Home » Gospel Reflections » July 24, 2016: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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July 24, 2016: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Candlelight, song, silence and spoken reflection all come together in the monthly Sisters of Providence Taizé prayer services celebrating the Year of the River. Open to people of all faith traditions, the next service will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.“…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.” (Luke 11:9-10)

Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 / Luke 11:2-4)


In teaching us the Our Father prayer, Jesus is revealing God’s infinite and unconditional love for each of us. Sometimes though we faithfully pray remembering those words, “For everyone who asks, receives,” only to find that we do not get that which we had thought we needed. Sometimes a loving God seems to say “No” to our request. Why?

Going back to the Our Father, the key phrase is “Thy will be done.” Simply put, this means God’s plan revealed in God’s time. Maybe what we asked wasn’t in God’s plan or maybe it just was not yet the right time. Possibly what we asked wasn’t the best answer for all concerned.

One day when my prayers were seemingly not answered, I found myself demanding why not? I took a step back. I asked God to help me understand why the better answer was no. I also asked God to let me have eyes to see His plan. God granted that request. What I saw was amazing.

Living in a “Thy will be done” world also means learning to bring issues/problems to God before we make decisions. Then, one must be patient and quiet so that one can understand then live the answer God whispers to one’s heart.


Choose one issue where you would like God’s guidance or answer. Spend some time this week in your sacred space conversing with God about the issue. If God’s answer is different than yours, ask God to help you understand why it is the better choice.

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Helen Flavin

Helen Flavin is a Providence Associate. She is a Catholic scientist, educator and writer. Helen received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Boston College. She is a fulltime science teacher. She is a guest columnist for her Diocese’s Catholic Newspaper “The Anchor.” She enjoys volunteering at the local nursing home.

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