Pondering for Sunday, July 24, 2022

New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of  Proper 12: Year C

Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19) and  Luke 11:1-13:

“And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.” (Luke 11: 5 – 8)

God has hard-wired us to seek and to assist. It is our human nature to solve mysteries, be it the rotation of the universe or the cure for cancer. We look for answers.  We have inquiring minds and we want to know stuff. Today Google is flooded with people finding information about myriads upon myriads of all kinds of things.  We are born to ask, both for what we need and for what we want. 

Within the tradition of humanity is also the concept of hospitality.  From time to time we all find ourselves in need.  When thus found, we need the help of others. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is our human condition.  Every person that hears the request of another has to deal with how they will respond to each situation.  I have a very dear friend who carries in his upper left pocket 2 or 3 small envelopes which contain a dollar and a Bible verse in each.  When a person approaches him for money he hands the person an envelope and bids them peace. I myself will adopt this response. A dollar or two is not much but it is a response. It helps satisfy that human need to respond. Even if the timing is bad, we will help if we listen to our hearts. We have this drive to respond to the need of others (friend or stranger). I believe there are more Good Samaritans among us today than there used to be.  We are born to help.

So we ask for help, and when we can, we render help to others.  This is God’s desire for us to be a loving community.  Yes, we still have way too many bad apples.  But we don’t give up because of them.  We endure. We pursue what is good and upright.  When we need help we ask for it.  It is not a matter of pride that we should suffer loss.  We ask someone to help us and we also may help another down the road.  All resources come from God.  We’re just borrowing from God anyway.  And we should keep our eyes open for our brothers and sisters who may not ask yet be in need.

Being born to ask, and born to help, means that we are born to live in harmony with each other.  I know people who are too proud to ask for the help they need.  And perhaps if they are criticized about it, they ought to feel reluctant to ask.  So those of us who can help must be vigilant in making sure that we are “grateful” to know when an unexpected opportunity has come to us. And never, never shame, or in any way speak down or look down on anyone who needs our help.  One day it could be us.  If we can Google about the universe, we surely can ask about, and respond to, our needs, and the needs of others in our midst.  We want to take comfort in knowing that we live in a community that takes care of God’s own. We are all God’s own.

Ukraine too is God’s own.  Let us help them where and when we can .

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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