Speak Lord: Of love and loving

Eleona

The Gospel reading on Sunday, the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, calls to us a complete trust in God the Father. In the passage Jesus offers us the Lord’s Prayer ( in a more primitive form than the liturgical version with which we are now most familiar) and encourages to consider afresh how we respond to those in need – those we love and those whose need we find inconvenient.

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray: “Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.”’

He also said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”; and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Luke 11:1-13

As our guide and encouragement Jesus offers us the faithfulness of God. It is in his love we trust; his love that we are invited to imitate.

Sanctuary of the Eleona Church, Jerusalem (build over the cave on the Mount of Olives where tradition holds that Jesus taught the Lord’s Prayer.) (c) 2013, Allen Morris

 

Speak Lord: To your family

Nativity SJW

Christmas is here and today’s posting prepares us for Christmas’s first Sunday, the Feast of the Holy Family.

The are a number of options for the Second reading on Sunday – the following reading, from the first letter of St John is the option provided for the Feast of the Holy Family in year C, the Year of Luke.

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.

His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.

1 John 3:1-2,21-24

The season celebrates God’s Son taking flesh and living as one of us in all things but sin.

The purpose of the Incarnation and the season is to help us remember that we too are called to be children of God. It is this that allows us to ‘dare’ to call God Father.

In our culture the Lord’s Prayer is so familiar, so safe…. yet it invites us to something truly remarkable – to be God’s children.

  • What difference does God make to your life?
  • In what way is God your Father?
  • In what way do you show that you are his child?

Photograph of Performers in Nativity Play, St Johns Wood. (c) 2007, Andre Camara.