The 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - The Homily

In his July 24th video reflection, Capuchin Father Greg Friedman, OFM of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land offers some interesting insights into today’s Gospel reading that seem to dovetail very nicely into the parish mission of St. Monica (Called by Name - Gifted by God - Dedicated to Prayer).

Prayer needs to have four components. First, prayer needs to be polite. Jesus is Lord, we are not. We need a correct orientation and attitude towards a divine and transcendent God. We also need to invite the Lord as a guest, and not just merely as an “order taker” for our various requests.

Second, our prayer needs to be pointed in the correct direction. We need to ensure that the ultimate intention of our prayer is in line with the wishes of God.

This leads us to the third point that prayer must be a persistent petition. Sometimes we pray for an intention for a long period of time and it seems that the prayer is not answered. The Lord always answers prayers, but He does so with one of four answers:

  • Yes,
  • No,
  • Not yet,
  • I have a better idea.

If our prayer is in line with the Lord’s will, the answer will be “yes” and the prayer is answered. When this is not the case, the Lord allows us to spiritually “hit the wall” until we begin to get the idea that something else is in play. In this way, the Lord steers us in a different direction where our prayer and desire ultimately needs to be.

Finally, prayer needs to be parental. Much like the father mentioned in today’s Gospel reading, the Heavenly Father wants to give us what is best for us. Therefore a part of prayer is to allow the Lord to form us where we begin to develop a trust in him, knowing that, “…in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, whom have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).


Audio version of the homily is here:

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