Mass Reading & Meditation for July 28, 2013
Meditation: Luke 11:1-13
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1)
Human beings are big on “how to.” Search on the Internet, and you will soon learn how to tie a tie, boil an egg, or even train your dragon. The disciples were no different. They had seen Jesus pray. They had heard him praise Mary for sitting quietly at his feet and listening to his teaching. And they wanted to know how to do that, too.
So Jesus gave them what we call the “Our Father.” Though it looks like a five-step instruction, it is so much more. This prayer reveals much about who Jesus is, because it gives us a glimpse into his own prayer life. It also shows who we are, and God’s vision of how we should live. And it explains how Jesus wants us to relate to our heavenly Father, with the same mind and heart that he had as he walked the earth.
Who is your Father? He is perfect, holy, and worthy of adoration. But Jesus doesn’t tell you to say, “Holy Father.” Just “Father.” He makes it clear that your Father is not far away, untouchable, enthroned beyond your reach. He is close to you, eager to breathe his life into you. He hears your voice. He listens when you call, and promises to answer. He gives you “daily bread” generously—all that you need for life and holiness.
The Father loves you. Always and without exception. He sees your worst sins, and still he wants to hold you close. He offers forgiveness lavishly, reconciliation unreservedly, intimacy wholeheartedly. He gives you all the tools and grace you need to become as merciful as he is. And he protects you from the evil one so that you can spread that mercy far and wide.
Jesus gave the disciples so much more than a list of tips for effective prayer. He assured them that they could approach their Father confidently, knowing he will always listen, always forgive, always provide, always protect. And he, who is holy, will do no less for you.
“Father, I want to know you. Help me to grow closer to you and more confident in your love.”
Genesis 18:20-32; Psalm 138:1-3, 6-8; Colossians 2:12-14