At the parish where I serve, St. Luke the Evangelist, we had a missionary preaching today. So, I did not prepare a homily this week. I did sometime reflecting on the readings and offer some thoughts for you to reflect on:
- The gospel begins by saying, “Jesus was praying in a certain place.” How often do you pray? Do you have a “certain place” that you use to pray where you can be alone, free from interruptions and distractions?
- Jesus speaks of persistence using the example of the man with a visitor who needs food. Are you persistent in prayer? When you persistent do you think you can change God’s mind? Some interpret Abraham’s conversation with God in the first reading as Abraham haggling with God about how many innocent people are needed to save Sodom and Gomorrah. Some might think Abraham wins in getting the number lowered. Abraham is the one who started with fifty, not God. I don’t Abraham changed God’s mind. I think God was already planning on being merciful to any innocent people, no matter how many there were. Abraham is learning, with the declining numbers, just how merciful God is. Abraham did not change God through prayer, God changed Abraham. Do you let God change you?
- Jesus tells us, “ask and you will receive.” From this, some think that we should get whatever we ask for. Then, when they don’t, they think there is something wrong with their prayer. Have you felt this way? Jesus goes on to say, “What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish?” In that land, there was a snake that looked like a fish. When a person saw it, they might want it thinking it was fish and good to eat, only to find find out it was a snake, something they did not want. Do we think God will give us something that is bad for us just because we ask for it?