Arulvakku

07.10.2021 — Shamelessly Persistent

Posted under Reflections on October 6th, 2021 by

27th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 07th October 2019 — Gospel: Lk 11,5-13

Shamelessly Persistent

After teaching the disciples the universal prayer, Jesus tells them a parable to illustrate that even midnights and closed doors need not deter us from praying. In the parable of the midnight-friend and its accompanying instruction, Jesus inculcates the attitude of confidence that must go with the words of prayer. In Palestine, hospitality was a sacred duty that was highly valued and widely practiced (Lk 7,36-50; 9,51-52; 10,38-42; 19,1-10). Successful ancient hospitality often advanced the formation of permanent friendship. The sudden arrival of a guest in the midnight to a friend causes a crisis in hospitality. The parable highlights the sense of shame that is so powerful in such cultures. The neighbouring friend, who was unwilling to get up from bed and help, will experience shame inevitably before others the next day for refusing such a simple hospitality to a needy neighbour. Therefore the neighbouring friend is forced to do the right thing against personal inclination or interest. Now, this shame is not something that puts pressure directly upon the man who has gone to bed. It has been transferred to him, by the friend who comes for assistance. What causes him to get up is not personal shame but shameless persistence in knocking that he cannot simply ignore. Further, denial of his request will surely put his midnight friend to shame before his visiting friend.

06.10.2021 — Praying to Hospitable God

Posted under Reflections on October 5th, 2021 by

27thWeek in Ord. Time, Wednesday – 6th October 2021 — Gospel: Lk 11,1-4

Praying to a Hospitable God

The commendation of Mary’s single-minded attention to Jesus leads naturally into a request by the disciples. Once again they see Jesus in their midst praying and they know that John the Baptist had taught his disciples about prayer. So it is natural that they look to Jesus for guidance in this matter. The first part focuses solely upon God and invites His kingdom on earth. The second part is on what the community needs from God – sustenance, forgiveness, and rescue from tribulation. The community that prays this prayer is very conscious of its privileged closeness to God. It sees itself as a base for the kingdom in the present world. But it prays the prayer in the world, as part of the world, on behalf of the world, to which it testifies the onset of the kingdom. It is praying for food, for reconciliation, for deliverance from evil, not just for itself but for the entire human family. It tries to model and proclaim their dignity and destiny as the children of God. In short, the community is exhorted to pray that the entire human race may enjoy the hospitality it has itself received from God.

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