He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, 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 indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today we have that powerful image of the man banging late at night on his neighbor’s door, in search of food for his family —a reminder of the persistence you and I should always have in asking God for all we need. The banging on the door is quite a vivid image of God’s passionate desire to hear our prayers, along with God’s readiness to lavish upon us those deeper human gifts we really need…rather than all the “things” we think we just gotta have.
Through this year’s July gospel lessons, Jesus teaches us quite forcefully that you and I are not the center of the universe. So we are not to hoard God’s many gifts. Rather, with the hospitality of open arms and generous hearts, we are invited to give generously all that we have been so lavishly blessed with … even those gifts that we find hard to receive, even that smallness of spirit we find difficult to confront, even those dark corners of our hearts we find hard to open to the sunshine of God’s transforming grace.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, when interruptions enter our lives, we can be confused by the change of our plans. When darkness moves into our light, we can feel lost – unable to see you. Yet you tell us to keep calling out to you. We will trust that the interruptions can bring blessings. And the darkness will not separate us from your faithfulness. This day we will knock and knock. And somehow, someway you will answer – or be preparing us for your answer.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!