Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The year is 387, the place is a little town on the Italian coast, here we find a mother, speaking to her two adult sons.  She is saying goodbye, because she is dying.  But she is happy, because one of her sons had been searching in darkness for happiness for many years; he had lost his faith.  She never stopped praying for him.  Finally, he found his way back to God and to Jesus. He would become a great writer and a great saint, his was the great St. Augustine, and her name was Monica.  St Monica has become a model of perseverance in prayer.  For years she prayed and never saw any results, but she never lost hope.  From St. Monica we learn that no prayer goes unanswered, even if it is not answered in the way we would like. There is no such thing as the unanswered prayer. In today’s gospel Jesus teaches us the Our Father, a beautiful prayer, probably one of the first prayers we ever learned.  And probably one of the last we will say when the time comes. The Our Father is the first and greatest of all Christian prayers. It’s short and simple. However, it tends to be said so hurriedly and unthinkingly that much of its meaning is lost. The gospel today gives us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer for the Christian journey, the Our Father. I often think about this prayer is a prayer that so many people over the centuries have said. St. Peter and St. Paul, The Blessed Virgin, St. Augustine, St. Patrick, St. Francis, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis, etc. An important point to make is to remember that prayer is not meant to change God’s mind or to tell him something he doesn’t already know. When I pray do, I really believe that it is God to whom I am talking and that he knows what is best for me. Story: little girl with sick dog. Another characteristic of prayer is trust – story of the man who fell down the cliff and was hanging onto a branch. After teaching us the Our Father, Jesus goes on to promise ask ad you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door wll be openend.  In the world in which we live everything has to be quick,  we do not like to wait;  we would like to pray and receive the answer immediately;  but prayer is not like that,  prayer is not magic  waiting and trusting are very important characteristics prayer, they makes us stronger, they make us wiser;  so let us listen to the promise of Jesus,  and let us learn to ask and receive,  to seek and to find, to knock and to have the door opened.