17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Homily

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Genesis 18:20-32
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
Colossians 2:12-14
Luke 11:1-13

Jesus tells us to ask and we will receive, seek and we will find.  Probably not many of us would have to think much to come up with something we have asked for and haven’t received.  Why didn’t we get what we asked for?

We can ask ourselves what is it that we asked for.  Did we really understand what it was?  Here Jesus speaks of how a father would never give his son a scorpion when he asks for an egg.  Of course not, but what if the egg we were asking for wasn’t what it seemed.  There was a type of scorpion that would curl into a ball and looked like an egg.  So someone might ask for it thinking it was an egg, not knowing it was a deadly scorpion.  Realizing the truth, we would not want the scorpion.

We might also think of how we ask God for something.  Here we think of Abraham.  God is preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the sins of the people who live there.  Abraham speaks to God seeking mercy for the innocent.  Certainly this is a good thing but effectively he bartered with God from fifty innocent people down to ten.  Is that how we pray to God, bartering for what we what?

Or do we pray like Jesus teaches, “Father hallowed be your name, your kingdom come…

How is God’s name hallowed?  To be hallowed is to be revered, to be known as great.  We hallow God’s name when we speak of the good things He has done for us.

Your kingdom come – do we work to help the world become what God wants.  Look at the world!  How many times have we heard of violence in the news recently?  There’s the person in France who drove through the crowds killing many and injuring even more.  There is the coup attempt in Turkey.

In our own country, there is the ambush shootings of police officers, shootings in malls and schools, I could go on but I don’t think I need to.

None of this is God’s will.  None of this is caused by God.  It happens because of the choices people make.  Most directly it happens because of the choices the people who commit these acts make but it is influenced by the way society in general lives.

A large part of this is in the focus on the self, what’s in it for me.  How dare you do this to me.  Yet lost in this is the dignity of self as giving by God.  When we see life as a gift, then violence and killing is not a way to respond.

When we see all life as a gift, we realize that all lives are important.  All people deserve and must be treated with dignity.  If we really want to pray your kingdom come, then we need to love and respect everyone.  How do you show your love and respect for others?

Jesus says the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.  We pray that we receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit so God’s Kingdom will come.

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