Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C
Reflecting on Luke 11: 1-13
If we don’t read the last eight words of today’s gospel, we will, I’m convinced, either despair of God’s mercy, or, tragically, of our belief in God at all. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t asked God to heal, and then wept at our loved one’s deathbed. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t knocked, and felt the cold, locked door. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t sought, and yet never found. But the gospel insists that none of these things will happen for the prayerful person.
Here’s the way it makes sense: Our Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. That’s the profound and lasting truth. When we ask for the Spirit, we will receive. When we knock at the door of the Spirit, it will open. When we seek the Spirit, the Spirit shall be found. I have never known that prayer to fail. Ever.
So, now that you know the one prayer that works every time, try it. Ask for the Holy Spirit. Ask for the seven gifts. While you’re at it, ask for the fruits―love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Maybe it’s best to ask for just one at a time! That’s a lot of transformation over night.
Here’s my prayer these days: O God, give me more of your Holy Spirit. Give me a desire to pray. Help me see every human being through your eyes. Give me the courage to speak truth to power.
Hmm. That sounds like a description of Jesus. I get it now. When we receive the Spirit, we take on the very heart of Christ. No wonder God begs us to ask.
How does the Holy Spirit act in your life?
Kathy McGovern ©2016
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