The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 27th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 11:5-13.

After revealing the Lord’s Prayer in the response to the disciples’ request to be taught how to pray, Christ offers clear instruction about the need for perseverance in prayer. Using the Parable of the Friend in Need (Luke 5-8), Christ urges men to realize their complete dependence on God (e.g. need for bread) and that God responds to those who are relentlessly persistent in prayer; if an imperfect man will rouse himself out of bed to help a neighbor, how much more so will the perfectly merciful God the Father help men in need.

It is not God, the Almighty, who has perfect knowledge of each man’s needs before he asks that needs prayer; it is men who need to be persistent in prayer so that they may constantly be reminded of God’s many blessings and men’s absolute dependence on God.

Christ describes the nature of persistence, telling men to ask, seek, and knock; He is describing an active type of prayer that is specific about needs (ask), is driven to find truth (seek) and that is undeterred when God seems distant (knocking on a closed door). Christ twice repeats His promise that God will answer those who ask, seek and knock in prayer. As earthly fathers give their children good things, the Heavenly Father will give much more; the Father will give men who pray the Holy Spirit!

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ offers the mysterious insight of how God hears and responds to prayer. Person of the Trinity, the Son refers to the Father and the Holy Spirit and promises that men are “given” the Holy Spirit. Divine Teacher, Christ reveals men’s need for prayer, that men are to pray with persistence and that God will give men gifts in response to their prayers.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) While the Son of God was with the Father from the beginning, the Son learns to pray in His human nature in the Incarnation. Marvel at how the Son’s mysterious experience as the Perfect Man is used to teach men to pray.

2) Despite Christ’s own prayer practice and fervent urging to men to pray, the majority of Catholic men do not pray regularly. “Disciple” and “discipline” share a common Latin root discipulus; one can not be a disciple if one doesn’t follow disciplines. Renew your understanding of how Christ Teaches men to Pray (CCC 2607-2615) and pray to Christ with persistence every day (e.g. morning, meals, before retiring, in response to daily stress and joy).

3) It is the Holy Spirit who grants the grace so that men can have faith (CCC 683) and allows men to grow in the gifts and fruits of the Spirit (CCC 1830-1832); a man can’t grow in holiness without the Holy Spirit! Refresh your understanding from the Creed’s I believe in the Holy Spirit (CCC 687-747) and pray for Christ help you more fully accept the Holy Spirit in your daily life.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently