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17th Sunday in OT (C)

LUKE 11:1–13 – Persistence pays off

Today’s gospel teaches us the value of persistence. We have a Father that is there for us, but like all relationships, we too have to do our part.

Many of us believe that because God loves us and we go to church most Sundays, fulfil our obligations and live a fairly decent life, we have done our part. Yet we are still lacking that connection. We still don’t know  what our calling is; why we are still having marital problems; or we still can’t find the man or woman of our dreams; we still need our children to love and respect us…What areas are lacking in our lives?

Jesus gave us a story of a person who goes to a friend at midnight and says to him to lend him three loaves of bread, in order to give to another friend who arrived at his house from a long journey. The friend replied that it was late and that he was not getting out of his bed.

Jesus then goes on to give us a huge lesson—He tells us, that if He does not get up and give the loaves based on friendship, He will get up and give Him whatever He needs because of persistence.

This is a life-changing moment. We are called to persist in order to achieve our goals in life, and the same is called for our spiritual life. Jesus told us that we are required to ask, to seek and to knock.

Too many times we don’t want to ask, mainly out of pride. He said that if we ask, we shall receive. Look how easy that is! The world has taught us not to ask, that it is a sign of weakness, of embarrassment, of poverty, yet Jesus Himself has given us the go ahead, that it is okay to “Ask and you shall receive”.

Do you know that many of us don’t ask God for what we want or need? We don’t think that we should bother God with our everyday desires, that we can handle it ourselves.

Dear brothers and sisters, God is in every detail of our lives. He is our keeper. He is our shepherd; we shall not want.

Then He tells us that if we did not get what we need at the asking stage, maybe our relationship needs more work, we have to go to a deeper level, where we have to seek Him, “Seek and you shall find.”Many of us give up at the asking stage, and never think of going to the stage of seeking….remember the Scripture says “Seek me first… and all things will be added unto you. We seek until we find. And if you come upon a closed door, you must knock until the door is opened for you.

This gospel gives us important keys: it is not on one try that we succeed in life; it is not on one try that we enter into a relationship with God. It is a continual journey of “pressing on to the mark of that High calling”, as was so beautifully put by Paul, that we have to come boldly, because He gave us permission to come before His Throne of Grace to ask for what we need and to seek Him by a life of righteousness, by a life of surrender, by a life of meditation on His Word day and night.

And if we are not hearing from Him, if our prayers are not being answered, if the revelations, the wisdom we need is still locked up, we must knock and keep knocking, until He opens the door.

We are called to a life of asking, of seeking, of knocking, so that we are always in His presence, where we can cry out “Abba Father!” How much do we want Him? How much do we need Him? How much do we love Him?

The Gospel Meditations for July were by Jemma Redman, founder of A Way of Living in Christ International, a spiritual support group for adults; the artistic director of the Southern Christian Drama Ministry, and a television co-host. She is a parishioner of St Peter’s RC Church, Pointe-a-Pierre, and St Mary Magdalene RC Church, Houston, Texas.