Malachi 3:13-20bPs 1:1-4, 6 (with Ps 40:5a)Luke 11:5-13www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101217.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/17_10_12.mp3
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
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?”
Good News Reflection:
Jesus says in the Gospel reading for today: Ask in order to receive. Knock, and the way, the truth, and the life will be opened to you. He is, of course, talking about receiving the Holy Spirit. But remember: This includes the fullness of life that the Holy Spirit provides, the fullness of truth, and the fullness of making our way to heaven by uniting ourselves in holiness to God here on earth.
Obtaining all this occurs through one situation at a time in our everyday lives. One of the most excellent ways to pray is to use scriptures as a dialog with the Holy Spirit. Find any scripture that pertains to a current need and read it as a personal letter from God. Then answer that letter.
Let’s illustrate this with today’s first reading. Are you suffering hardships because of someone who believes that “it is vain to serve God” and thinks, “What do I profit by keeping his command?”
Use this scripture passage as a prayer to God, like so:
“Lord, they have defiled You in their words and in their evil actions. … You are listening attentively to my pleas for help. I trust You. Protect me as You have promised. Show me Your compassion, that all the world may see. … Destroy all the roots and the branches of evil in those who would harm me. … Help me recover in the healing rays of Your justice. Thank you! Amen!”
Now re-read this scripture as a dialog with the Holy Spirit, like so:
“Then they who fear the Lord spoke with one another, and the Lord listened attentively.” The Holy Spirit wants to remind you that when you seek the help of your Christian community, sharing your burden with Christ-centered friends, Jesus listens to you and ministers to you through them. Tell Jesus that you’re going to visit one of your Christian companions today and you’d like him to reveal something helpful through that person.
Notice this phrase: ” … on the day I take action.” A promise for you! (I’m skipping verses; please take time to read it thoroughly to discover all that the Holy Spirit is saying to you.) Tell Jesus how you feel about waiting for that day.
“You will again see the distinction between the just and the wicked; between those who serve God and those who do not.” You’ve seen God intervene against evil before. You will we see it again! Tell Jesus how much you appreciate the times past when he vindicated you and that you’ll trust him to do that again.
“The day is coming, blazing hot, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble … setting them on fire ….” Everyone sooner or later faces justice. Either the evildoers who’ve hurt you will regret it and burn with a desire to repent, or they will burn with the deeper fires of regret during purgatory when they discover how little room they had made for God’s love in their hearts, or they will burn where the fires are unquenchable because they’ve turned away from God forever. Ask Jesus to do everything possible to help them repent before it’s too late. And ask him how you can help him do that.
“For you … there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” Ahhh, what a wonderful way to end this letter of reassurance from God! What are you going to say to him now?
My Lord: Give me the grace to persevere in my prayers without feeling discouraged, to ask according to Your plans for me and to trust that You have already listened to me. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica