YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: FURTHER TEACHINGS ON PRAYER….”How much more then will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those who ask him!”
BY: Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola
Today, the Gospel is a catechesis by Jesus on prayer. He solemnly asserts that the Father always listens to him: «Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you» (Lk 11:9).
At times, we may think reality indicates that it is not always the case, that it does not actually “works” in such a way. This is because we must want to pray with an attitude adequate to an effective prayer!
The first premise is dedication and perseverance. We must pray avoiding feeling disheartened, even if we think our prayer is being ignored, or is not given heed to, right away. This is the attitude of that inappropriate man calling on his friend's home, in the middle of the night, to request a favor. With his doggedness he will get the loaves he needs. God is the friend who listens from within to whom is persistent enough. We must believe that He will end up by giving us what we are asking, because in addition to being a friend, He is also our Father.
The second stipulation Jesus teaches us is confidence and filial love. God’s paternity goes far beyond man’s paternity, which is limited and imperfect: «Even you evil people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will the Father in Heaven…!» (Lk 11:13). The Third one: above all we must ask for the Holy Spirit and not only for material things. Jesus encourages us to invoke him, assuring us we shall receive it: «…much more then will Father in heaven give Holy Spirit to those who ask him!» (Lk 11:13). This petition is always listened to. It is very much like asking the grace of the prayer, as the Holy Spirit is its source and its origin.
The blessed fra Giles of Assisi, one of St. Francis' friars and friends, summarizes the idea of this Gospel when he says: «Pray faithfully and devotedly, because a grace God has not granted you once, He may grant to you some other time. On your hand, humbly place your whole mind in God, and God will place his grace in you, as and when He pleases».
Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM (Barcelona, Spain)