El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Fellowship International
Daily Gospel Reading - October 7, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Luke 11:5-13

Further Teachings on Prayer


5[Jesus] said to [his disciples], “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight 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,’ 7and 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.’ 8I 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.
9“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13If 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?”

FRIEND

Two Near Eastern values are at play in the parable of a friend who calls at midnight: hospitality and honor (and shame). Hospitality is offered to outsiders, in this case a man who has arrived from a long journey. The friend of the traveler has to provide for the traveler’s needs, and so he does not hesitate to ask his neighbor for help. Besides, the traveler is the community’s visitor and everyone is responsible for his welcome. If the man refuses to attend to the traveler, he will be greatly shamed before the community.


On the other hand, the neighbor to whom the man appeals will likewise lose face if he refuses to be disturbed and to offer something. The village people will think that he is inhospitable and uncooperative. And the neighbor who appeals to him will now cease to consider him a friend. For the first factor of friendship in that culture is the understanding, “Your honor shall be as my honor.” And since honor is worth more than anything, the friend will get out of bed to help his neighbor-friend maintain his honor by observing hospitality.


Jesus tells the disciples that God hears his children’s petition. We have but to ask and we will receive, to seek and we shall find. God does not even have to be awakened before he gives us what we need. He gives these out of his own goodness, even to the unworthy.

 
Daily Gospel Reading - October 6, 2010 PDF Print E-mail

Luke 11:1-4

The Lord’s Prayer


1[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.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread
4and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

FATHER!

The “Lord’s Prayer” was probably taught by Jesus to his disciples in Aramaic, their native language, or in Hebrew, the language of the Scriptures and of official prayer. It has come down to us in Greek, in the version of Matthew (6:9-13) and here in Luke. It is difficult to pinpoint when and where exactly Jesus gave the prayer.


Luke presents the prayer as model for those who do not know how to pray, especially for pagans converted to the Christian faith and must pray, no longer to the gods and goddesses, but to the God of Israel who is also the Father of Jesus. Luke concentrates on the essentials in initiating the new Christians to prayer. They must first of all be taught to accept God as father. The Greek Pater translates the Aramaic Abba (“dear father”) by which Jesus addresses the Father and which is now the address of the empowered believers. Abba is the word by which infants would call their father, comparable to “Daddy,” just like they would call their mother “Mommy.” Abba therefore reveals a relationship that is simple, intimate, trustful, filial. Abba is also a more solemn, responsible adult address to a father. Grown-up sons and daughters use this to address their father, lovingly and tenderly, but also in the spirit of obedience. In fact, the only time the Aramaic Abba occurs on Jesus’ lips is when he agonizes in Gethsemane, yet accepts the cup of suffering (Mk 14:36). In a culture where a mark of true manhood is obedience to one’s father, Jesus shows his trust in God and his readiness to do God’s will.

 
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