Sunday, July 24, 2022 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
Readings: GN 18:20-32; PS138:1-3, 6-8; COL 2:12-14; LK 11:1-13
In the Cycle C Scripture readings, the Gospel on most Sundays is from Saint Luke. In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, some of Jesus’ disciples asked our Lord to teach them how to pray. Jesus instantly offered them the beautiful prayer which we, of course, call the Our Father. This version of the Our Father is distinctly different from the version we are accustomed to, which is from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew.
The Our Father is truly a disciple’s prayer. In it, we call upon God in an intimate way, as Father. We ask that His will be done (not ours!) and that His kingdom come (not ours!). In other words, we remember that He is our Creator, everything is His, and our focus in life should be on His priorities, not our own. Then we ask Him to supply our needs (to give our daily bread), forgive our sins, and protect us from evil. That is, we proclaim our complete trust in His provision for us and mercy towards us. We, too, commit to extending mercy ourselves (as we forgive those who sin against us).
As we pray the words of the Our Father, we recognize this basic truth about ourselves and God: God is our Father, and we are beloved and infinitely blessed to be His children. This is the basis of a stewardship way of life.
At the end of the Gospel passage, Jesus encourages us to pursue a relationship with the Father: Ask Him, seek Him, knock on His door!
He can hardly wait to bless us, His children. Remember that this week, then go and be a blessing to others!