Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 28, 2019)

St. Paul asks us to reflect on the wonderful gift of redemption that is given to us as a result of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

We are sinners, but God’s love for us pardons all our sins and gives us new life in Jesus - a sharing in the very life of the risen Lord. Because of this sharing, we are able to approach God in prayer as Jesus did. We can call God “Father.”

In our thankfulness, we want to hold God’s name as holy and we desire, as Jesus did, that the kingdom of God become present in us. Our requests must be simple:

• Give us the bread we need for today: food for our bodies and the bread that makes us one in Eucharist.

• Forgive our sins each day because we are willing to forgive the sins of one another.

• Keep us safe and strong in our faith until the end.

Jesus tells us more about our praying: “Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” Jesus never tells us what to ask for; all he tells us is that our Father will give us the Holy Spirit - his abiding presence in us and among us. What he is saying is that God will give us himself; he is the only good we will need.

God’s one desire for each of us is that we be his children, trusting in his goodness. When we learn to pray with trust, then we will also learn to see the goodness of our God in whatever comes to us in our daily lives. The Spirit within us will give us the strength and courage we will need to handle the situations of our life-journey.

Nothing will be too much for us to handle, because everything is coming to us from the hand of our Father whose only purpose for us is union with him, true happiness.

Jesus teaches us how to pray. How we pray really does make a difference in how we live. May each of us learn to ask our Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit and then trust that he is with us as we go about our day. He will give us everything we need - for we are his children whom he loves with an everlasting love.