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Priest's Reflections

Parish Priest’s Reflection, July 28, 2019

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Readings

Genesis 18: 20-32
Colossians 2: 12-14
Luke 11: 1-13

Theme: Why not have a conversion with God when you face challenges in life?

In First Reading there is a conversation going on between Abraham and God in regards to the pending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave.” The Lord was preparing to go down to these settlements and find out whether the accusations against these towns were true.

But because Abraham was aware of the presence of his nephew Lot in this area, he made a passionate plea to the Lord as he had a conversation with God to spare the innocent who were living in Sodom and Gomorrah: “Will you indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?” Far be it from you to do such a thing, to play the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

This is the sort of conversation that Abraham had with the Lord. So prayer is a conversation. It is a conversation with the Lord expressing one’s frustrations, hopes, feelings, disappointments, failures, fears, complaints, plans, worries, pains, sickness, wars, hatred, misunderstandings, low esteem, pride, rich or poor, good politics and bad politics, bad leadership. We are free to have a conversion with the Lord about anything and in any situation, we find ourselves, we present ourselves the way we are and we talk to God. This is the beauty of prayer. Prayer is first and foremost a conversation.
There are different forms of prayer, but prayer must reflect our life and our position with God and that is why it is a conversation.

We have formal and official prayers which assist us to pray as a community or a family.
But when we gather for community prayer, we take along with us our individual situations and present them to the Lord. We have our traditional prayers which we recite also.
And the best prayers which represent all human sentiments are the Biblical Psalms. Biblical Psalms capture all our human sentiments both positive and negative. There are among the greatest human conversation with God. Actually the official prayers of the Church are basically Psalms.
All official Christian celebrations are prayer. All Liturgy is prayer. Conversation with God must lead us to reflect on our lives which we may call meditation. Or may lead us higher to reflect on God which we call contemplation.

This reflection leads us to the Gospel of today in which Jesus is reported to have been praying and his disciples ask him to teach them how to pray. Jesus outlines the process of prayer that it is a conversation with the Father who is in Heaven: Our Father. In our conversation with the Father, we must seek for His presence among us: “Your kingdom come.” Then we present our concerns: “Give us each day our daily bread.”Then we must seek Reconciliation with God and the world around us: “Forgive us our sins and we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us” and we seek protection from the devil or the evil one: “Let us not be led to temptation.”

The example Christ gives in regards to prayer is indicative of what prayer is: “A conversation.” To knock at a friend’s door and talk.

Let us not be afraid to talk to God for Christ opened the gate for us as the Second Reading demonstrates: “You were buried with Christ in Baptism in which you were also raised with Him through Faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” With Christ we cannot be afraid to talk to God.

So in Christ and with Christ we learn to have a conversation with God.

Msgr. Gerard Kalumba
Christ the King, Parish Kampala

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