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Know what to ask for

(Gen 18.20-32; Col 2.12-14; Lk 11.1-13)

You might have seen the catchy TV ads inviting us to buy tickets in Lotto. They hold out gleaming prizes such as tropical holidays, new cars, dream homes – consumerist paradise!

St Ignatius of Loyola offers wonderful advice about how to pray for what we need. His advice? Beg of God to know what to ask for.

The readings for this Sunday invite us to ponder on the many gifts we might beg for: mercy (Abraham), inner freedom (Paul, Col 2.14); then a number of gifts that are Jesus’ suggestion: forgiveness (Lk 11.4), hospitality (11.5-8), food for one’s loved ones.

What a huge difference in approach we see here. All these gifts are not for me but for those I love and live with. They are expressions of care and gratitude. This is most true of the greatest gift that is the last on Jesus’ list, namely, the Holy Spirit who is the inner life, love and joy of God himself. With such a gift, all else will follow.

Source: 17th Sunday year C1

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