July 24, 2016 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Since my husband and I moved to Florida, we have found that during the summer months our home is filled with out-of-town guests. We open up our home to these guests because we love them and enjoy their company. Now you know, having guests in your home can be quite stressful. We try to accommodate the needs of our guests above our own. We sacrifice our privacy, our belongings, our personal time. Along with our busy work schedules, we fit in the time to prepare our home – fresh bed linens on the beds, refrigerator and pantry stocked with plenty of food and beverages, time carved out of our work schedules to spend some quality time with our guests. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially with a large number of guests coming week after week.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus shares a story about hospitality and being a good neighbor. A friend receives an unexpected guest in the middle of the night and doesn’t have enough food. The friend goes to his neighbor for help. Jesus proposes the neighbor may deny the friend because it is late, but will most likely get up and help because of their friendship and his friend’s request for help.

Jesus shared this story because the disciples had asked Jesus how to pray. He taught them the “Our Father” prayer. Jesus tells them to pray as a friend would ask for help from another friend. Just as we are filled with compassion for our friends in need, willing to sacrifice our personal time and space and belongings, God is willing to sacrifice His beloved Son for our salvation. God is willing to answer our prayers. All we need to do is ask.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:9-10

Our final summer guests have departed and we get back into our normal routine. Because we opened up our home and our hearts, what remains are the wonderful memories of our home filled with family and friends, with meals and stories around the dinner table, with hearts filled with laughter and love. May we always be ready to invite Jesus into our hearts by opening our lives to those in need. May we trust in the hospitality of our Father, reveal to Him our needs, and we shall receive abundantly His blessings, grace and mercy. AMEN.

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