The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 11: 5-13
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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?”
Reflection (Sem. James Mendiola):
As I was reading the Gospel it reminded me of the days that I started praying. It was always ask, ask, ask and more asking. Indeed, for me today’s gospel speaks of what prayer is.
For me, prayer is a personal relationship with God. Just like any relationship it demands time and trust, the basic foundations of a relationship. When I started praying I was always asking. I saw God like an emergency button that you push when you are down or irritated or desperate. The great man in the sky was just a genie. But then I started being involved with the youth ministry and started devoting more time to prayer. Well even if I expound on my prayer experience, I doubt it would be of great help. So, what I am going to do is tell you my secret to achieving miracles in my life.
After living 28 years on this earth I understand that there are 2 phases in a miracle, just like a relationship has two parts, trust and time. Confusing? Let me clarify, the first part involves you, or in this case me trusting in God. A God that has my best interests in mind and cares and loves me completely. Remember a while back, when I talked about how I would just incessantly ask? That was a time in my life where I was so self-absorbed I indulged myself in worldly pleasures and would complain to God if anything would threaten my ‘fun’. During this time I got to know a lot of ‘lost’ people and strangely enough their feelings and family. Just like any other kid (or at least I thought) I thought that being satisfied, happy, rich and popular was all there is to the world. This is what it meant to be happy and this is what I always prayed for.
After years of this lifestyle I did not notice I was being changed by God from the inside. I became sensitive to the feelings of others, I made friends that has lasted for at least my current lifetime. My involvement with the youth, exposed me to people who are examples of selflessness and virtues. But for years I denied knowing these things just for me to enjoy my concept of ‘fun’. Well, this was up until I was tasked to lead the youth, when I was cursing my own imperfections, the broken family, the flamboyant lifestyle and the lack of remorse. I was asking the question If, You cannot give what you do not have, How can I lead these people if I hadn’t been given love when I was small?
The funny thing was I was asking this to the same people that I have been with through the years, the same people who rush to my aid whenever and wherever. The ones who accepted and has been loving me this whole time. And as I got around to realizing this I said Praise God! For the first time. I have been in the ministry for a good 7 years before I said those words. The realization flooded me with memories of blessings I received form each one through the years. It was as if God was right there, telling me there have been a lot of miracles given it just took time for me to realize it. This is the second part, in God’s perfect time.
Always remember that you are completely and perfectly loved by God, and because of this, at this very moment, He is moving heaven and earth and people to make your miracle come true. He knows what you are praying for even though you might have a different thing in mind He can see through your heart. And always it’s important to keep the trust because it will happen in God’s perfect time. Always remember to Love your God for He loves you so much.