July 24, 2010


17th Sunday - C
Luke 11: 1-13

Jesus the Pray-er

"Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray.'"

Think of a time when a child or a friend saw you do something that was so "wow!" and the question came out of awe, "How did you do that?" Then, "You gotta show me!"

Seeing Jesus at prayer must have been so impressive that the disciple asks Jesus to teach them to pray. [1]

But Jesus' prayer is not just impressive in that one occasion. Throughout Luke's gospel, Jesus is found at prayer often, especially before any major decision or event.

Moreover, his life is the living prayer. In his life, others could see his deep relationship with God. [2]

Let's just have a careful look at the prayer he teaches the disciples,
"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."

His life, every word, every action is about building the Father's kingdom. From the very beginning of his public ministry, he proclaimed in the Synagogue at Capernaum the good news of liberty for the poor and an acceptable year of the Lord. At that very moment, he told the people, "Today, this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:17-21). His mission is not about him or his name. It's always about the Father's name and the Father's kingdom.

Then, how does he go about glorifying the Father's name and building the Father's kingdom? He feeds the people's physical and spiritual hunger. He forgives sinners. He overcomes the tempter in the desert.

And he will continue to do so until he completes his earthly mission. In the end, he will forgive those who persecute him and his friends who abadon him. He will win the final victory over not just temptation, but sin, death, and evil itself.

Jesus is a man of his word.
[1] Francis J. Moloney, SDB. The Gospel of the Lord: Reflections on the Gospel Readings, Year C. Homebush, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1991; p. 148
[2] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke. Sacra Pagina Series, Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991, p.179

No comments: