Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
July 25 A..D. 2010
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Americans aren't as used to bargaining over small purchases as in other parts of the world. It's different though, with our larger items, like automobiles or houses!
God seems to encourage bargaining in today's first reading. Abraham is disturbed when he learns that the Lord plans to destroy the evil city of Sodom. After all, he has a nephew, Lot, who lives there with his family. And Abraham knows that he and his wife have not given in to the sinful deeds of their neighbors.
So he starts to bargain with God. "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing!"
And God, not to be outdone, says, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake." Encouraged by this, Abraham keeps it up. "Now Lord, you know I'm just dust and ashes. Pardon me if I speak once more?" He really pushes it. "How about forty-five? How about forty? How about thirty? How about twenty?"
At this point, we're getting a little nervous, but God seems to be encouraging him. "How about ten?"
And He succeeds in getting God to spare the city "for the sake of ten just men!" God is teaching us a great lesson here. We give up too soon when we're asking favors from God. Especially if we're asking for our children or our grandchildren! We say to ourselves, "Oh, no, I can't bother God. He'll get mad at me!"
This theme is continued in today's Gospel. Jesus does the same thing. He not only allows us to bargain with God, He actively encourages us to do so. After teaching His apostles how to pray in the beautiful words we know as the Lord's Prayer, He urges His followers not to give up if at first the Father doesn't seem to be listening. To paraphrase, He says, "Don't give up, keep knocking! Do you think my Father would refuse anything to His children?"
Maybe we don't believe in the power of prayer. Maybe we think that's for children or nuns or the na´ve!
But, aren't we all God's children? God will always answer our prayer, as long as we ask in faith, as long as we persevere, as long as it's something that is to our spiritual good or the spiritual good of the person we're asking for.
God always answers prayer. Like the kid that was praying for a new bicycle, and he didn't get it -- his buddy teased him, "See, I told ya it doesn't work. God didn't answer your prayer, did he?" And the first boy says right back, "Oh, yes, He did. He said, 'No!'" But we can be sure that God rewarded him for his prayer with something better.
Of course, God likes the other kinds of prayer too -- prayer of praise, like we're doing at the "Holy, Holy, Holy" at the Mass, and the prayer of thanksgiving, the prayer of sorrow for sin, like the Act of Contrition, and the very best one -- the Eucharistic Prayer -- the Canon of the Mass, or whenever we say, "Thank you, God!" "Thank you for loving me into life. Thank you for being God!"
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Sevebteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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