July 24, 2022: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13
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 by 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 the child asks for a fish? Or hand over a scorpion when asked for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will my Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?”
This Gospel reading has enough to ponder for several reflections. I chose the latter part, in fact, I zeroed in on the last line, “how much more will my Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?” It’s as if Jesus changes gears. That line suggests to me to ask in prayer not so much for specifics like healing, or reconciliation with a loved one or rain to end a drought. Rather to ask for the gifts of the Spirit which will enable me or a loved one to deal with a situation I find difficult or burdensome.
Review the gifts of the Spirit (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear (awe) of the Lord). How might asking for one or more of these in prayer change you or a loved one’s focus?