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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

October 10th, 2013
Conan Rainwater
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When I was younger, I used to think that today’s Gospel passage from Luke suggested that as long as I persistently asked God every day for something, he would grant it. Though sometimes I wish that was the case (especially for a test!!), that perspective is superficial.

However, in order to appreciate the insights this Gospel gives on prayer, it is helpful to look at the previous four verses of chapter eleven: He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test (Luke 11:1-4).

In addition, to relate the passage to the times of today, it is helpful to look at the context of the story. During the time of Jesus, not having anything to offer a guest, regardless of time, was the essence of showing a lack of hospitality. The friend of the man refuses to help because everyone in his house is asleep. Unlike the man’s inhospitable friend in the story, this illustrates how God is always ready to give us not only what we need, but rather an overflowing of it if we but only ask.

Upon reading the Gospel, I saw myself falling for a “trap” regarding the verse that says that following: “ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The “trap” is that we only use it selfishly. However, if I recall the first four verses that I mentioned above (the Lord’s Prayer), it takes on a new meaning. My prayers of “asking, seeking, and knocking” should be in the context that God will give us what we need even if it isn’t what we think we need. What can we expect from God, especially when we recognize that he doesn't owe us anything and that we don't deserve his grace and favor?

One of the values that resonated throughout today’s Gospel was generosity. All that we have been given is a gift from the Father that needs to be used not only for our own good, but the good of all. In other words, we need to use give of ourselves to others as the Father gives of himself, not because we deserve it, but out of love.

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