17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 24/7/2022 - Gospel: Luke 11:1-13.22
When we pray, we place before God our personal concerns, and this puts us in a vulnerable situation, because we are conscious of our own weakness and inability to help ourselves. In prayer, we can take control of the time, location and what we would like to pray for, but the outcome of our prayer is entirely in God's hands. Prayer takes the form of a mantra which means we repeat the same prayer again and again, and that is the rhythm of life. Life is very much a repetition. Each day we wake up at the same time, doing the same routine things, and yet each day is a new day. We begin a prayer with a vote of thanks, and then we open our heart to God. What we pray for is real and close to our heart, and that is what we need daily. The Lord's Prayer teaches us to pray for our daily needs. We need bread daily, and pray for daily bread. We often make mistakes and need forgiveness. We learn from God to forgive others as they too make mistakes. We pray for God's will be done on earth, so that everyone will enjoy real peace, because God's will is holy and unchanged. Jesus encourages us to pray to God as our Father. He used the image of imperfect parents who would love to give good things for their own children. Our God, the Most Holy Father, would not harm us, but always gives the best things for those who call upon him. Jesus told us that even God's Name is holy, which implies that everything which comes from God must be good and holy, because God is full of goodness and grace.

Jesus used the story of three friends who called on each other for help to talk about the boundless of God's hospitality. The traveller friend arrived late at his friend's house. The host had nothing to offer. He went to his neighbour friend at mid-night asking for help. That friend is you and me who believe, that there is no time limit to prayer whenever we remember it. It is either at evening or mid-night or daybreak. Whenever we have the urge to pray, then do it. We all have experienced to pray to God at midnight when something disturbed our sleep.

Jesus told us to ask and it will be given. Knock and it will be opened and search and we will find. Lk 11,9. What we have experienced is that we have asked, and searched and knocked but not always received what we asked for. When we pray we live in hope and trust, that God will listen to our prayers. If we always received what we had asked for then we would not need to have any hope. It is not us, but God who is in control the outcome of our prayers. God decides what is best for us. God may not give what we have asked for, but give something else, such as strength to overcome the problem, or wisdom to make a wise decision, or peace of mind or a calm heart. Prayer is not primarily getting what we ask for, but rather having a personal relationships with God. Unanswered prayer reminds us to read the parable of the invited guests who made excuses (Lk 14: 16-19). There was a man who invited guests to come to his own son's wedding. All the guests found excuses not to come to the wedding. Being rejected is something God has had more experience than all of us.

'If one of you hears me calling and opens the door. I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him', Rev 3,20.

Jesus told us, 'The heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him'. v.13. God's Spirit answers all our prayers.