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Theology for the common man

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Apart from His teaching and lifestyle, Jesus had to impress his disciples with his unusual attitude of prayer, through which it was expressed, His contact with the God the Father. The disciples noticed that whenever He was burdened with a very important decision, even in his free moments, He withdrew apart from everyone and was immersed in a deep contemplative prayer asking advice from His Father. This is why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, seeing him praying so deeply, and this is how we know this prayer today, calling it the Lord’s Prayer. When we look closer into the words of this prayer we can notice that it contains the most important and necessary things to our lives. First, we have to take care about God in our life, that his name shall be venerated everywhere, and especially in our hearts, because only that way through our hearts He is able to reign in the whole world. Later, we ask God to have bread every day with His special blessing. Finally, we should ask God to forgive our sins and help us to combat temptations which could remove us away from God. This way of prayer has such a powerful effect before God, that even if God would not want to listen through the friendship He could have with us, He will do it because of our insistence; by our constant contact in prayer with Him. Exactly that attitude of insistence before God illustrated today, in Jesus's parable about a friend who came to his neighbor at night, wanting to borrow a few loaves of bread from him. A distinct issue is to receive forgiveness from God. In the Lord’s Prayer it is a condition on (measure) in a way of our ability to forgive others the sins that were committed to us. We know from our life that it is very difficult to do. From this perspective we can see that even if we are not able to forgive the sins to our debtors we still count to the forgiveness and mercilessness from God and we do receive it. This aspect of prayer is emphasized in today's first reading where Abraham discusses with God compassion (mercy) over the sinful city of Sodom on the basis of some few upright people that should live. Unfortunately, even Abraham is conscience he would not find “some few upright people”, at least 10 of them or even less. Apparently we see that the world today is maintained in existence only because of the prayers of those “few upright people”, monks, nuns, and those of simple heart, who day and night worship the name of God. This is the power of prayer: who ask and receive, in the Holy Spirit, adequate help.