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Posted: 7/27/2013 4:34:14 AM EST
First I just want to apologize for missing last week and the late posting this week. Right now, I am discerning whether or not this something I can continue just because of other things God is calling me to. I am less than 3 weeks away from delivering my 4th child, getting ready to start homeschooling again, working part time, helping my husband get his fledgling business going and in the process of starting an American Heritage Girls troop at my church. Something's gotta give, and this seems to be it. So I'll be taking a break for a while, but hope to be back when I things settle down (ha ha). Thank you to everyone who has posted or supported me in any way (especially those kind soul(s) who have paid my membership when I didn't have the funds to do so.) God Bless!


First Reading:
Genesis 18: 20 - 32


20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave,
21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know."
22 So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the LORD.
23 Then Abraham drew near, and said, "Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 And the LORD said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Abraham answered, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Wilt thou destroy the whole city for lack of five?" And he said, "I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there."
29 Again he spoke to him, and said, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it."
30 Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there."
31 He said, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it."
32 Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there." He answered, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it."


Second Reading:
Colossians 2: 12 - 14


12 and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
14 having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross.


Gospel:
Luke 11: 1 - 13


1 He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
2 And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread;
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation."
5 And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him';
7 and he will answer from within, `Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything'?
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
9 And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"


Overview of the Gospel:

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples, on their way with him to Jerusalem, and after observing him in prayer, ask him to teach them how to pray.

It was common among each religious community of disciples at the time (such as among the followers of John the Baptist) to have their own distinctive manner of prayer.

Jesus responds by giving them what has come to be known as the Lord’s Prayer, or, the Our Father. On another occasion, Jesus will give his followers a longer version of this prayer with 7 petitions rather than the 4 found here (see Mt 6:9-15).

Jesus uses this opportunity to do three things: 1) He gives to his disciples a communal and model prayer (verses 1-4); 2) He teaches them the importance of persistence in prayer (verses 5-8. See also Luke 18:1-7); and 3) He assures them about the effectiveness of prayer (verses 9-13). He also reveals that God, like any good father, always wants to give what is best for his beloved children, especially the best gift of all (verse 13).

QUESTIONS:

In the First Reading, how can Abraham be seen as a model of one who offers prayer? What type of prayer? With what attitude? For whom does he pray?

In the Second Reading, St. Paul tells us that God gives us the gift of eternal life even though, strictly speaking, we do not deserve it (verse 13). How should that knowledge form our motivation to reach out to and pray for others?

In the Our Father (verses 2-4), what two concerns related to God come first? Why? What personal concerns then follow? How do prayer and forgiveness relate?

What does the parable in verses 5-8 teach about prayer? How do verses 9-10 relate to the parable? What attitude is implied in verses 9-10?

If God already knows what we need, why is perseverance in prayer called for?

What concerns occupy most of your time in prayer: Praise? Thanksgiving? Confession? Petition? Why? In what area do you wish to grow?

How often do you ask Jesus to teach you to pray? What do you learn about prayer from the pattern of the Our Father?

Link Posted: 7/27/2013 4:40:34 AM EST
Thanks for the Word. You sound like a busy lady. God Bless and good luck to you and your efforts
Link Posted: 7/27/2013 5:43:03 PM EST
Cat--no need to apologize! You have been turning in a super-human effort each week for us and your ministry has helped countless souls. Be overjoyed that you accomplished that! We all thank you for your supreme efforts, Sister.

Family comes first; we all know that. The sacrament of your marriage is paramount. ...all this coming from an "old timer" of 47 years of marriage!

You and your husband are the ministers of the sacrament of marriage because the mark—the external sign—of the sacrament is not the wedding Mass or anything the priest might have done, but the actual marriage contract itself. Neither does this mean the wedding license that the you both received from the state, but the vows and covenants that each of you made to the other in the presence of Almighty God. The effect of this wonderful sacrament of marriage is an increase in sanctifying grace for each of you, a participation in the divine life of God Himself. Wow! Who could neglect that for a heartbeat?

Maybe if a day had 30 or 40 hours, things might be different, but we are still creatures of time and space (at least down here at our temporary home) so, as the song says: "Somethings Gotta Give." Give your family 100%.

In your spare time (heh-heh) think about us here with warm thoughts and I am sure many, many readers of your wonderful Bible study will remember and think about you and keep you in their prayers. That alone is worth more than all the gold ever mined. We wish you all the very best for you, your husband and four children, home schooling, your business and American Heritage Girls Troop!

Walk with God....
Link Posted: 7/27/2013 6:13:50 PM EST
In the First Reading, how can Abraham be seen as a model of one who offers prayer? What type of prayer? With what attitude? For whom does he pray?
View Quote


Abraham speaks with God directly. He petitions God to spare the cities if righteous people still live there. His prayers are, quite literally, "petitions" to the Almighty. He asks, beseeches, requests God do something or refrain from doing something.

Abraham's attitude is one of humility, piety, and awe toward God. But notice, Abraham doesn't plead for personal gain or fortune. He pleads on behalf of others. In this case, various groups of ten. Abraham becomes an "intercessor," as it were.

Funny--a very old and dear Protestant friend of mine and I were discussing Abraham tonight. Abraham is the "father" of three separate monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. That being the case, my evangelical friend posed the following question to me:

If Muhammad allegedly received revelations from God around 610 A.D. and thereafter, this means that his followers PRIOR to this were obviously worshipping and honoring the monotheistic Judeao-Christian God, no? What other God could they be worshiping before the Koran was dictated?

Interesting question relative to Abraham, no?


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