17th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

As Jesus teaches his followers how to pray, He assures them that God answers their prayers. We can always trust God’s faithfulness and continue praying steadfastly, without ever losing hope.

  • To the point: Jesus instills confidence in his disciples that they will receive from God that for which they pray. He teaches them (and us) to pray for daily needs: the food we need to live, the forgiveness we need to grow in our relationships, the protection we need to remain faithful. Because of what we have already received (our daily needs), we are certain that God will give even more to those who ask: the Holy Spirit, a share in the plenitude of God’s very Life. Such a gift! Why would we not ask?
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 11:1-13) to the first reading: Abraham directly, confidently, persistently and courageously petitions God to spare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the Gospel Jesus teaches us to pray with the same directness, confidence, persistence, and courage.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Nothing breeds confidence like success. This is also true when we turn to God in prayer. Although not always in the way we expect, God always answers our prayer. Prayer helps us grow in the Spirit. Persistent prayer leads to a deeper relationship with God. Prayer can be more than the opportunity to tell God what we need. It is the opportunity God takes to reveal who God is. Today’s readings proclaim that the praying person will find in God a loving parent full of compassion and care. Prayer is as necessary for a good relationship with God as communication is to keep a good friend. Today’s scriptures invite us to contemplate how we nurture our relationship with God.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 11: 1-13)

“I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship, he will get up to give him
whatever he needs because of his persistence.”

O Jesus, your father stands at the door
waiting for us to knock, never sleeping,
always seeking ways to dote on us,
and fill us with good things.
Help us to persist in our prayers
for climate, gun control, immigrants,
starving children, racism, war.

The First Reading

(Genesis 18: 20-32a)

“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.”

Abraham bargained. “Forty innocent ones? Twenty? Ten?”
God, his loving abba, surrendered each time.
So, Abram kept asking for more!
O God, our Father, let us come to you.
Let us commit to your love.
Thank you for hearing and answering
our life-long pleadings.

The Second Reading

(Colossians 2: 12-14)

“Even when you were dead in transgressions … he brought you to life along with him.”

O, Christ, gracias, dank u, grazie, hvala.
You partner with us.
You take away the stumbling stone.
You break down the wall between us and yourself.
You ask us to come to you and to call
God’s great mystery by its real name,
which is, of course, Father.

Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection