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 as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each 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.”
Jesus teaches us that in our prayer God is our “Father” and just as a parent’s love for their children is unlimited, so is God’s love and care for us unlimited. Jesus further teaches that prayer unfolds in the context of this special relationship of “Our Father,” it is not a kinship or progeny. “Father” is a metaphor used to describe our unique, intimate relationship with God. This relationship inspires us in us confidence with the realization that what we pray for is not so important as the fact that we address God in such intimate terms. Prayer always deepens our relationship with God and this is already an answer to what we need. (Living Liturgy, p.180)
“St. Teresa of Avila often could not finish the “Our Father” because she found that the first few words said everything. What a rich word, “Father.” It brings to our minds what our own human fathers have done for us. When you say “father,” you think of one who provides, and the great provider for us all is God: “Our Father, Who is in heaven.” We can see many things wrong with the world, but it is good to think of what is right in the world. Who made the sun to rise this morning? Who gives us the fruits of the earth and the rains to soften the soil? Who feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field? God, our Father. We could continue making a long list of the good and beautiful things we can see with our eyes or hear with our ears in this world of ours, and all of them have come from God: Our Father, Who is in heaven. Who told us all this? Jesus Christ. There are people who say that the most important truth that Jesus has taught us in the Gospels is that we have a Father in heaven and He is God.” (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 471-2)
"When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger , you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me." Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?" The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."
"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who are weeping now, for you shall laugh. Blessed shall you be when men will have hated you, and when they have separated you and reproached you, and thrown out your name as if evil, because of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and exult, For behold, your reward is great in heaven."