Prayer: the midnight visitor

This coming Sunday is the 17th Sunday in Lectionary Cycle C. Jesus presents a parable following the lesson on how to pray:

5 And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ 7 and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. Continue reading

Prayer: a context

This coming Sunday is the 17th Sunday in Lectionary Cycle C. With the geographical note, “in a certain place” Luke has separated this narrative from the immediate context of Chapter 10 (the conclusion of the mission of the 72, the parable of the Good Samaritan, and the encounter with Martha and Mary). Luke now presents three episodes concerned with prayer:

  • the first (Luke 11:1–4) recounts Jesus teaching his disciples the Christian communal prayer, 
  • the “Our Father”; the second (Luke 11:5–8), the importance of persistence in prayer; and
  • the third (Luke 11:9–13), the effectiveness of prayer. 

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Scripture for this week

The gospel readings for this 28th Week of Ordinary Time (Tuesday through Thursday) come from a section of Luke’s gospel – Luke 11:37-54. Three daily gospels are considered part of one pericope (fancy work meaning one narrative) from Luke’s writing. The parameters of this narrative unit are carefully marked: “he entered … he left” (vv. 37, 53). I will post each day about the daily gospel, but thought that today I would provide some context. Our reading come from the “travel narrative” (9:5119:27) which begins following the Transfiguration, Jesus “resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51). From then, leading up to our passage, we encounter narratives about: Continue reading

The One Sign

The gospel from today’s readings has always been interesting to me: “While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, ‘This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.’” (Luke 11:29-32) Continue reading