First reading: Gn 18:20-32
Second reading: Col 2:12-14
Gospel: Lk 11:1-13
UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
As a Franciscan, I try to be attuned to the central theme Saint Francis of Assisi lived out in his life. In countless ways, Francis celebrated and preached the Incarnation. Jesus came to reveal in his humanity the awesome reality of who God is for us. In Jesus, we see “the human face of God.” Francis delighted in communicating to people a very personal God. I believe that’s what made Saint Francis attractive to the people of his time--the very down-to-earth way in which he preached, taught, and especially lived a life that pointed to the closeness of God to us. And the God Francis reflected was a God of love, forgiveness and mercy.
Today’s first reading, where Abraham bargains with God, as well as our Gospel, where Jesus teaches us to pray, are united in their use of very down-to-earth, human imagery to portray God’s mercy. Abraham and God dicker back and forth over how many good people it will take to save Sodom from destruction. In Jesus’ parable about prayer, God is the friend we bother in the middle of the night, and wear down with our persistent begging for what we need.
God is ready to give us our daily bread—and more: forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit, if only we ask. If we think of God as a loving friend, a kind caring parent, one who will enter into our human need and meet us there, then prayer will come a bit easier: It’s what Jesus taught us!
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
According to the first reading, why did the Lord go to Sodom and Gomorrah?
In the second reading, who brought the Colossians to life again?
According to this week's Gospel, what is most important about prayer?
ACT | By Susan Hines-Brigger
Sometimes when we pray, we simply recite the words--because we know them so well. Pray the "Our Father" slowly and focus on what you are saying and the meaning behind the words.