HOMILY FOR THE 17TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: NEVER GIVE UP, PRAY PERSISTENTLY
BY: FR. GODWIN ALKALI, C.S.Sp.
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JULY 24 2022
READINGS: Gen.18:20-32; Ps:138; Col 1:12-14; Lk 11:1-13.
Brothers and Sisters, have you ever experienced failure while expecting success, or prayed and failed to get the response you anticipated? If you have experienced any of these in the past what was your next line of action? Give up? Run away? Get depressed? Blame yourself, someone or God?
Beloved, on this 17th Sunday of ordinary time, the Church admonishes us to Never give up and to persist patiently in Prayer.
The first reading concerns the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. God was fed up with the depravity and impure acts against nature of the people. He decided to destroy the two cities. However, Abraham demonstrated extraordinary courage. Without fear, he approached God and boldly interceded on behalf of Lot, his nephew. He stood in the gap for Lot’s Family in Sodom and Gomorrah. Through this, he shows that he was a great intercessor.
Paul reminds us in the second reading that God will always be gracious and merciful to us for we are His beloved children. Thus, this should be our source of inspiration and hope when we pray faithfully. We must also intercede for others, especially for our world in chaos.
Today’s gospel is an explicit call to pray. Jesus’ disciple humbly implored Him to teach them how to pray. Today Christ prayed and also taught us how to pray. The lesson is not only about the formula of prayer. It also reminds us that God is our loving and good Father, infinitely better than any human father. So, we should pray with tenderness, intimacy and full trust in our loving Father since He looks at us as His beloved children.
TAKE HOME LESSON
1. Jesus taught us today that, prayer is a necessary tool for us. All we need is to be persistent, patient, and humble.
2. Prayer is communication with God. More specifically, prayer is the lifting up of our spirit to God. It is a two-way communication. It is the lifeblood of our soul. It is the “oxygen of the soul”, according to St. Padre Pio.
3. The essential elements of Prayer are; Faith, Hope, Humility and Communication.
4. Kinds of Prayer include; private, public, official prayers of the Church, personal prayers, vocal prayers, silent prayers, the Holy Rosary which is both vocal and silent prayer. While the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most important and highest form of prayer.
5. Abraham teaches us that we must intercede for others in prayers. Hence, God can save the righteous, heal the sick, and deliver those in all types of danger.
6. Distance is not a barrier for God to hear us or act on our behalf.
7. If we must achieve any success in our mission, we must revive our prayer life and burn with the zeal to pray according to the will and mind of God.
8. Prayer is a “simple project” that accomplishes much. It is also a thing of the spirit.(Rm 8:26). Thus, we must constantly ask the Spirit of Jesus to help us to pray like is disciples did.
9. God never goes to sleep. He knows when, where, and how to respond. Therefore, we must not give up the habit of praying and interceding for one another hence, prayer unlocks the heart of God.
10. Prayer breaks barriers and brings down the power of God. Before launching into the ministry proper he spent forty days and forty nights in prayer and fasting (Matt.4:1-2). He often withdrew from people to pray by himself (Mk 1:35; Lk 6:12). He prayed for others (Lk 22:32; 23:34; Jn 17) and taught us how to pray (Matt.6:9-13; Lk 11:2-4). He prayed before his passion and death (Lk 22:41-44, Jn 12:27-28). He also continued to pray until his ascension (Jn 20:22; Lk 24:30.
11. Prayer should be Our powerful connection to the mightiest Power, strength in weaknesses, comfort in sorrow, weapon against sin and disobedience, door to the health of soul, mind and body, and Our ladder to God.
12. My brothers and sisters, when we stop praying we start perishing. Therefore, we must perservere in prayer and wait patiently for the appointed time for God’s response.
PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL
FR. GODWIN ALKALI, C.S.Sp.