July 28th, 2019

XVII Sunday of Ordinary Time

Year C

Praying also means this: having the audacity to bother God because we are willing to let ourselves be pestered, in our turn.

Gen 18:20-32; Ps 137 (138); Col 2:12-14; Lk 11:1–13

After “doing mercy”, a verb that emerged from the parable of the Good Samaritan, after “listening” incarnated by Mary in Bethany, here is a third fundamental verb of the believing experience: “to pray”. Moreover, the three verbs are present together in this small catechesis: prayer arises from listening to the Word of God, which however must enable us to listen to its appeal within the unforeseen circumstances of life, such as that of a friend who comes to the heart of night. And it generates mercy: the bread is not asked for itself, but so that it may be a gift. The person in the parable shows us well what the prayer of intercession consists of—we have a famous example in Abraham’s intercession. To intercede means to step out into the middle, as the protagonist of the parable does, who puts himself between those in need and those who can satisfy him. Often it is an uncomfortable position, which requires above all awareness: one can only bother God if one is willing to let oneself be pestered in turn. That man can dare to pester God with shameless prayer because he himself had no qualms about letting his friend bother him. So much so that we could ask ourselves: where does God reveal himself? Certainly, in the harassed friend he gives the necessary bread. But is he not also present in the first friend, who comes from a long journey? We can bother God if we let him pester us, through the need of our brothers.

Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza

Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey

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