July 24 - Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Asked and Answered

July 20th, 2016

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First Reading  Genesis 18:20-32
Abraham pleads with God to save the innocent people of Sodom and Gomorrah.


Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 138:1-3,6-8
Lord, on the day I cried for help, you answered me.


Second Reading  Colossians 2:12-14
You were buried with Christ in Baptism and also raised with him.


Gospel Reading
Luke 11:1-13


Though we be “but dust andashes,” we can presume to draw near and speak boldly to our Lord, as Abrahamdares in this week’s First Reading. The mystery of prayer, as Jesus reveals to Hisdisciples in this week’s Gospel, is the living relationship of beloved sons anddaughters with their heavenly Father.  Our prayer is pure gift, madepossible by the “good gift” of the Father - the Holy Spirit of His Son. It isthe fruit of the New Covenant by which we are made children of God in ChristJesus (see Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:15-16). Jesus teaches His disciples topersist in their prayer, as Abraham persisted in begging God’s mercy for theinnocent of Sodom and Gomorrah. This intriguing story of Abraham interceding forSodom is not really about a numbers game but about the significance of salvationfor the righteous in a corrupt community. Authentic prayer opens us up tothe action of God's Spirit, bringing us in line with God's desires, and makingus into true disciples, obedient to Jesus and to the Father who has sent him.Prayer becomes one of the ways by which we follow Jesus in the Christian life.