Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - July 28, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Genesis 18:20-32
20 In those days, the Lord said: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, 21 that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.” 22 While Abraham’s visitors walked on farther toward Sodom, the Lord remained standing before Abraham.23 Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said: “Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? 24 Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty, so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?” 26 The Lord replied, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham spoke up again: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! 28 What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?” “I will not destroy it,” he answered, “if I find forty-five there.” 29 But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?” He replied, “I will forebear doing it for the sake of the forty.” 30 Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will forebear doing it if I can find but thirty there.” 31 Still Abraham went on, “Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?” The Lord answered, “I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty.” 32 But he still persisted: “Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?” He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”
P S A L M - Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
R: Lord, on the day I called for help, You answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. (R) Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (R) The Lord is exalted, yet the lowly he sees, and the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me; against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand. (R)Your right hand saves me. The Lord will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. (R)
2ND READING - Colossians 2:12-14
12 Brothers and sisters: You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And even when you were dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; 14obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.
You have received a Spirit of adoption, through which we cry, Abba, Father.
Luke 11:1-13
Jesus 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 andforgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes atmidnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. 9And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12 Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”Esther A-4



It can be very embarrassing to ask someone for forgiveness because you have sinned against them. Why is this so? Forgiveness is at the heart of the Gospel message and it is also a central plank of the Lord’s Prayer. Note that we ask God to forgive us to the degree that we offer forgiveness to those who have sinned against us. It is crucial that we remember this because there is a corollary that applies here, namely that we are telling God to withhold forgiveness from us if we withhold it from others.
       The Lord’s Prayer is a good summary of the Christian life as it picks up a lot of the essential elements and puts them together. It tells us that we need to praise and worship God, to intercede for our daily needs, to forgive one another, and to pray for protection. There is more to being a disciple of Jesus than this, but this is a very good starting point.
       Furthermore, Jesus teaches us that the Holy Spirit is central to the life of a disciple. We can be sure that, if we ask God for the Holy Spirit, He will give it to us. God desires our salvation and He will always respond to this request. Sometimes we have to really persevere in prayer and intercession for what we need and want, but eventually, it will be given to us if it is necessary for our salvation. If not, then we may not get it.
       Jesus also affirms that God is a good Father who provides for the needs of His children. We can be sure that He will not abandon us or be left alone without the Holy Spirit. Could we ask for anything more than this? Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you find it easy to forgive those who sin against you? Or are you always ready to forgive those who ask for Your forgiveness?
Holy Spirit, help me to see how forgiving others is crucial to my own salvation.

St. Leopold Mandic, pray for us.

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