Monday, July 22, 2019

July 28, 2019 ~ All Children of One Father - God

July 28, 2019

Reading I: 
Genesis 18:20-32

Psalm:  138

Reading II: 
Colossians 2:12-14

Luke 11:1-13

In today’s Gospel of Luke, we hear the disciples asking Jesus how to pray.  He responds, “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.”

(We are usually more familiar with the translation of Matthew, but the basic meaning is the same.) 

Jesus also tells them: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened o you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Since God is our loving Father, He does respond to us but not always in the way we want. We often wonder why He does not give us what we ask. Maybe this will help:
Imagine that you are in your kitchen and a two-year-old boy asks you for a shiny knife on the table. You probably would not give the child the knife because he might hurt himself or someone else. However, he is angry with you and screaming. What would you do?  
You might offer him something that would not hurt him or you might give him a healthy snack or distract him some other way. You would respond to him in the way that is best even though he does not understand at the time. When he is older he will understand.

The sister of a friend of mine had three children and was stricken with multiple sclerosis. Her father and sister decided to take her to Lourdes in France where Our Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette Soubirous and left healing waters where many people are cured. Of course, we all prayed for a miracle. However, in spite of all the effort and expense to take her to Lourdes, she was never cured.  Maybe the Lord was giving her a spiritual gift, like a deeper trust. We do not know why the cure was withheld from her. However, today, they are all with the Lord and can now understand.

We become so accustomed to saying the “Our Father” that it can become routine. This is such a rich prayer that taking the time to reflect on each word is of great value, e.g. “Our Father,” the Father of all Native peoples, Caucasian people, African people, Chinese people, Hispanic people, Semitic people, straight people, gay, lesbian and bisexual people, handicapped people, Protestant people, Muslim people, Catholic people, atheists, agnostics, etc.

Try slowing down to experience the depth of the prayer’s meaning.

  Reflection Question:   
What word or phrase in the “Our Father” is striking you most at this time?  Explain.

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
Todos Los Hijos de un Padre - Dios

En el Evangelio de Lucas de hoy, escuchamos a los discípulos preguntando a Jesús cómo orar. El responde, Cuando ores, di:
             Padre, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino.
             Danos cada día nuestro pan de cada día y perdona nuestros pecados.
             porque nosotros mismos perdonamos a todos en deuda con nosotros,
             y no lo hacemos 
someternos a la prueba final.

(Usualmente estamos más familiarizados con la traducción de Mateo, pero el significado básico es el mismo.

Jesús también les dice: Pregunta y recibirás; Busca y encontraras; Llama y se te abrirá la puerta. Por cada uno que pide, recibe; y el que busca, encuentra; y al que toca, se abrirá la puerta”.

Como Dios es nuestro Padre amoroso, Él nos responde, pero no siempre de la manera que queremos. A menudo nos preguntamos por qué Él no nos da lo que pedimos. Tal vez esto ayude:
Imagina que estás en tu cocina y un niño de dos años te pide un cuchillo brillante en la mesa. Probablemente no le darías el cuchillo al niño porque podría lastimarse a sí mismo oa otra persona. Sin embargo, él está enojado contigo y gritando. ¿Qué harías?
Puede ofrecerle algo que no le haga daño o puede darle una merienda saludable o distraerlo de otra manera. Le responderías de la manera que sea mejor, aunque él no lo comprenda en ese momento. Cuando sea mayor lo entenderá.

La hermana de una amiga mía tuvo tres hijos y sufrió esclerosis múltiple. Su padre y su hermana decidieron llevarla a Lourdes en Francia, donde Nuestra Santísima Madre se apareció a Bernadette Soubirous y dejó aguas curativas donde muchas personas se curan. Por supuesto, todos oramos por un milagro. Sin embargo, a pesar de todo el esfuerzo y los gastos para llevarla a Lourdes, nunca se curó. Tal vez el Señor le estaba dando un don espiritual, como una confianza más profunda. No sabemos por qué se le negó la cura. Sin embargo, hoy, todos están con el Señor y ahora pueden entender.

Nos acostumbramos tanto a decir “Nuestro Padre” que puede convertirse en una rutina. Esta es una oración tan rica que tomarse el tiempo para reflexionar sobre cada palabra es de gran valor, por ejemplo. Padre Nuestro”, el padre de todos los pueblos indígenas, caucásicos, africanos, chinos, hispanos, semitas, heterosexuales, gays, lesbianas y bisexuales, discapacitados, protestantes, musulmanes, católicos, ateos. , agnósticos, etc.

Intenta reducir la velocidad para experimentar la profundidad del significado de la oración.

  Pregunta de Reflexión:   
¿Qué palabra o frase en el "Padre Nuestro" te está golpeando más en este momento? Explique.

Stephanie Morris, Ph. D, Historian, Certified Archivist, emerita
“Give us this day our daily bread.”  Jesus did not ask for the week’s menu, only for what was needed for “this day.” Following up on the mindfulness of Martha and Mary, we can be mindful of “one day at a time,” and not worry about things to come (or not to come). Focusing on the present, we can ease the stress we often place on ourselves when we fret about the unknown future. With less stress, we have more energy to be the person God wants us to be.

Pat Chiaffa, ASBS
“Give us this day our daily bread.” This petition profoundly humbles, stirs, and challenges me. I am aware that I am expressing my dependency on God for my daily existence, and I am most grateful for the abundant blessings that are mine to enjoy. At the same time, I feel discontent when I say these words, often prayed in the comfort of my kitchen, where many recipes and a well-stocked pantry surround me as I look forward to preparing meals for the days ahead. I stumble over the word “our” because most of the people included in that pronoun are impoverished and hungry and would give anything for daily bread. 

“Give us this day our daily bread.” Is my prayer for another’s daily bread adequate? Bread is meant to be shared, but how can I get bread into the mouths of my starving brothers and sisters living in places where there is no bread? I am overwhelmed by the daily requests for funds that I receive in the mail.  Do my charitable contributions aimed at feeding starving children in Yemen, Syria, South Sudan even make a difference?  I am angry that such injustice exists. Jesus fed the crowds through the incredible miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.  Today, we have enough food to feed everyone. Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity.  The gripping reality is that many of the root causes of poverty and injustice are man-made.  How can we influence misguided leaders and governments to accept the responsibility to end poverty and hunger by investing in programs that will support sustainable livelihoods and improved social protection? In asking these questions, I confess my own participation in this human condition as I recall times I ignored a hungry person begging for food or failed to sign a petition, calling for actions that could contribute to a better standard of living for a poor community.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” How do we define bread?  For what do we hunger? I observe many hungers around me. Within my family, I see hungers for health, direction, human connection, and healing. On the streets of the city, people are dying, hungry for freedom from addictions, neglect, fear, hopelessness, loneliness, poverty, discrimination and hatred. Stories of suffering immigrants tell of multitudes that are hungry for validation, liberty, and the chance for a better life.

“Give us this day our daily bread.” I realize that this musing has taken the tone of venting. There is so much work to be done in the Lord’s harvest that I often forget that Jesus is in the midst of it all.  As I follow my inner wisdom and pause, I find the comfort I seek; my prayers do matter.  Pope Francis states that Jesus teaches us to ask the Father for daily bread. “Christian prayer starts from reality, from the heart and from the flesh of people that live in need, or who share the condition of those that don’t have what is necessary to live. The bread that a Christian asks for in prayer if not “my” but ‘our” bread. It’s how Jesus wants it. He teaches us to ask it, not only for ourselves but for the entire brotherhood of the world. This prayer contains an attitude of empathy and solidarity…I’ll pray to God until their prayer is heard. This is how Jesus educated His community, His Church to bring to God the needs of all: ‘We are all your children, O Father, have mercy on us!’”
“Give us this day our daily bread,” and so it is. Amen

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