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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Lectionary: 111
Read the Gospel: Luke 11:1-13

Gospel Summary
This Gospel reminds us of three things. First of all the disciples asked Jesus how to pray and he gave them a model we call the Our Father. Jesus gave the disciples a form of prayer that praises and petitions God. Next there was the example of a friend who came in the middle of the night to another's house asking for bread. The visitor awoke his friend with a plea for bread, but the sleeping friend did not want to be disturbed. Perhaps it would not be their friendship that got the first man his loaf of bread, but his persistence. So, the only way to continue his night's sleep was for the second man to give his friend the bread. In this parable, Jesus made clear that we need to be persistent in prayer. Finally, Jesus asked what father would hand his son a snake when asked for a fish, or a scorpion when asked for an egg. The point of this illustration was to show the disciples that God would give us the most important gift, the Holy Spirit.

Reflection for Families
It is easier for parents to appreciate the love God has for each of us. We strive to care for our children and provide the things necessary for their well being. We see to it that they have nutritious meals rather than junk food each day. We find a way to provide warm clothing and shoes in the cold weather. We don't hand our children something that would harm them when they ask for something that would nourish or protect them. We learn from this Gospel today that the greatest gift God can give us is the Holy Spirit. Like a child, we only need to stretch out our arms and be open to receive this gift.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
As you pray the Our Father this week, have each family member reword the prayer in a way that brings meaning to that person's life in the twenty-first century. What is the daily bread you require? What is it that you really need most? When you ask for sins to be forgiven, what are they? What are the hurts you need to forgive someone else for? What are the things that tempt us not to follow God's ways? As your family prays this week, focus on each phrase and encourage everyone to think about exactly what they are saying or asking for when they say the words of this familiar prayer.

Discussion Starters
1. There are many times God has answered my prayers. One time I remember in particular was when ...
2. One thing I do when it is difficult for me to pray is ...
3. One time when my persistence paid off was when ...

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