The Gospel Today
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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 the visitor 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?”
Reflection (Sem.Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):
Reflecting in today’s Gospel, it immediately came to my mind the beautiful words of a bishop in the United States who was too concern about the families of today. We know well that our present families have been a constant prey to broken relationships. The bishop asked his listeners during one of his talks that if they want their families to be close to each other hence avoiding if not minimizing family broken relationships, they must go back to the basics. He asked several other questions. “Are you still praying before and after meals? Are you still praying the Angelus at 6 in the evening, the Holy Rosary and the devotion to the poor souls in purgatory at 8? When you pass by churches, do you still make the sign of the Cross? When your children go out and come back from your homes, do you still practice giving your hands and bless them and they too asked for blessings?”
As I further reflected on these thought-provoking guide questions of this good bishop, it made me realize the value of being always in communion with God through prayer. This is the central message in today’s Gospel. Our Lord Jesus taught us on how to pray. We pray to God the Father, praising Him, asking for forgiveness and the graces that we need. Surely, the Heavenly Father will always hear our fervent prayers.
Surely, this is a constant struggle for each one of us, especially in this modern age when everything goes very, very fast, sometimes we have the tendency forgetting to connect to God. But through God’s grace in Christ Jesus, if we constantly run to Him, nothing is really impossible.
Let us ask the intercession of the Blessed Mother who constantly prayed and pondered everything in Her heart, for us to become like Her and be closer to Her Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!