Today's Gospel: Luke 11, 1-13 - Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Anyone who has ever been around toddlers knows they are the very definition of persistence. The barrage of “why” questions they pose to us all day long is surpassed only by their stubborn determination to eat hot dogs (again), despite the fact that we have just laboriously prepared that rare meal that aligns perfectly with the government’s food pyramid recommendations.
Nutritional deficiencies aside, the persistence found in a three-year-old could be an asset for us as grown-ups.
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus teaches us the basics of prayer. He explains not only what to say when we pray, (specifically, the tenets of The Lord’s Prayer), but also how to pray. He implores us to be persistent in our prayers. To ask, seek and knock. To not give up. To remember that there are “good gifts” available for us.
He promises that our Father in heaven, who loves us much more than we can imagine, will provide answers to our prayers, and will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. Not maybe give us the Holy Spirit. Not conditionally give us the Holy Spirit. But give us the Holy Spirit in abundance. Imagine—a never-ending flow of blessings from the Holy Spirit with your name on it! But we must ask, seek and knock.
Take a lesson from those innocent toddlers who fully expect to get what they ask for, no matter how long it takes. Persistence pays off.
What need is on your heart and mind right now that you have never expressed to Jesus? What past prayer request have you given up on? Ask, seek, knock again.
Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me how to pray. Help me to pray with patient persistence and with joyful expectation that you will answer my prayers according to your will.
Copyright 2016 Mary Beth Weisenburger
Mary Beth Weisenburger was raised Catholic, wandered away for a few decades and then found her way back, thanks to the Holy Spirit's persistence. Married for 28 years, she is a mom of two kids, a magazine editor, a humor columnist and the author of "In the Same Boat: 55 Laugh Breaks for Frazzled Moms," available on Amazon or marybethw.com.