Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time "Longing to Be with the Father"
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 be 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 him 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 father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
Lord, I come into your presence seeking to know you better. I believe that you take the lead in seeking me. You want me to find you. I trust that in your mercy you will bring me to intimacy with you. I open my heart today to receive your friendship.
Lord, teach me to long for your Kingdom and your holiness.
1. Teach Us How to Pray: All of us carry a longing to know God and enter into a relationship with him. Those who live a deep relationship with God attract us by the peace and serenity of their lives. They know they are loved, and they can handle the difficulties of life with joy and serenity. The disciples see how deeply and spontaneously Christ talks with the Father, and they realize they are far from that; so they ask Christ to teach them to pray. We, too, learn from Christ how to enter into a relationship of love with the Father. He teaches us to put our trust totally in the Father’s love.
2. The Desire to Be like the Father: Jesus teaches us to ask that the Father’s Kingdom come in our hearts. He reveals to us that the Father’s kingdom is our home. When we pray the Our Father, we are expressing our desire to enter into the Father’s heart. We are expressing our desire to be like the Father in his goodness, holiness, and love. Praying the Our Father renews in us a continual conversion of heart and points us to our true home. It reminds us that this home is within our reach, because the Father is intimately close to our lives and wants to help us become more like him.
3. Asking for Holiness Persistently: Jesus invites us to persevere in imploring the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings holiness to our lives if we are docile to his inspirations. Christ reminds us that the Father wants to bless us with this holiness. But we must expand our capacity to receive this gift by increasing our desire for it. Our perseverance in petitioning this gift expands our hearts. We must not tire of asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We must do so with great confidence in the Father’s love.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, thank you for showing me the closeness that the Father wants to have with me. Help me to expand my heart and be like him. You are guiding my life, Lord. Help me to cooperate with the Father’s love.
I will pray an Our Father today more calmly and attentively, letting the Holy Spirit inspire me to see what a small thing I can do today to help the Father’s Kingdom come.