17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In our Gospel this weekend the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. After giving a short version of the Our Father, Jesus tells a semi-humorous story (in my opinion) highlighting the importance of persistence - in the context of this passage of persistent prayer. In our first reading we see a model of this kind of persistence in the conversation Abraham has with God (also a rather humorous exchange, in my opinion). But both readings make the point that God seriously encourages persistent prayer. The question remains, though, "What or who does prayer actually change? Does it change me or God?" Listen to find out!
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
After Moses gave the 10 Commandments to God's chosen people, he said something very interesting: that these commands were already written in their hearts. If, as Paul says in our second reading, all things are created in Christ, then it makes sense that the Maker would leave His mark deep within each of us, guiding us to what is best. God has given each of us a conscience, His voice deep within our gut, leading us on the right way. But then why do we need commandments or rules at all? Why can't we just each follow our own conscience?
Our conscience can sometimes be a burden and we don't always want to listen to that voice. So as we grow "smarter" and "wiser" we learn to rationalize away that voice of God deep within, until we hear only what we want to hear. This week we're challenged by Jesus to go back to the basics, to be reminded of what we already know deep within our hearts, and to listen for that simple and clear (but often difficult and inconvenient) voice of God which speaks to us from deep within - and to follow it!