Jesus reveals the Lord’s Prayer and confirms the need to persevere in prayer. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Observance so he can reverently seek the Almighty Father in prayer throughout each day and by pursuing the Virtue of Orderliness so he can imitate Jesus’ discipline of daily prayer.
17th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 11:1-13
Following His direction to Martha to seek Him as the one thing needed (Lk 10:38-42), the disciples come to Jesus as He is in prayer and He now reveals the importance of prayer and the need for perseverance in prayer.
Luke offers a shortened version of The Lord’s Prayer; Matthew (Mt 6:9-13) offers the version used in the Liturgy of the Church. Calling God, “Father”, Jesus reveals that God is to be understood and approached by men as a loving “Father”, and confirms the essential human need for paternity (the leadership of men as fathers) for protection, guidance, and most of all, love. God the Father’s name is is to be esteemed as, “hallowed” (recognized as holy), reaffirming The 2nd Commandment. Jesus reasserts the reality of God the Father’s Kingdom of Heaven, and that men are to pray for God’s Kingdom to be accepted by all men.
In the parable of The Friend in Need, Jesus urges men to realize their complete dependence on God and that God responds to those who are relentlessly persistent in prayer; if an imperfect man will rouse himself out of bed to help a neighbor, how much more so will God the Father, the perfection of love, help the men He lovingly created when they cry out in need. Jesus also describes the nature of persistence, telling men to ask, seek, and knock. He is describing an active type of prayer that is specific about needs (ask), is driven to find truth (seek), and that is undeterred when God seems distant (knocking on a closed door). Jesus twice repeats His promise that God will answer those who ask, seek, and knock in prayer. As earthly fathers give their children good things, the Heavenly Father will give much more; God the Father will give the Holy Spirit to men who pray.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Joyfully consider Jesus’ instructions about how to pray so God will respond: Person of the Trinity, Jesus has perfect Knowledge about how God the Father hears and responds to prayer; the perfection of Perseverance (a part of Fortitude), Jesus urges men to always pray and never give up; the perfect demonstration of Faith and Hope (He needs neither, for He is one with the Father), Jesus gives men faith and hope by confirming that God hears and answers prayers
Seek the Father in prayer throughout the day
Realize: Rather than God’s mysterious revelation of Himself to Moses in the Burning Bush as the “I AM” (Ex 3), the Son of God reveals that men are to approach God as the “Father.”
Believe: Reflect upon God the Father (CCC 2779-2785).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Observance (part of Justice) so I hunger to draw close to You, I constantly give You thanks and praise, I seek to remember You and remain in Your presence, and do Your will at all times.
Imitate Jesus’ discipline of daily prayer
Realize: Despite His frequent demonstration of prayer and Jesus’ call for men to pray always, most Catholic men do not have a daily discipline of prayer. “Disciple” and “discipline” share a common Latin root discipulus; a man cannot be a disciple of Jesus if he doesn’t imitate Jesus’ prayer disciplines.
Believe: Reflect upon how Christ Teaches men to Pray (CCC 2607-2615).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Discipline, help me build the Virtue of Orderliness (a part of Temperance) so I order my life to make prayer a regular discipline and I strive to draw closer to You throughout my day, especially during times of temptation and suffering.