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Day 317 – Persistence in Prayer


Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read about Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray the Our Father as well as the importance and persistence of prayer. We have been commanded by Jesus to keep coming back to God and to trust in him. He will give us good things, he does not promise to give us everything we ask for. We may ask for things that aren’t good for us, for example. God only looks out for our well-being.

Today in Luke 11, Jesus speaks of the unclean spirit who, after being expelled, returns to the person and brings more evil spirits. The person’s soul is in a worse spot than before. We can get rid of vices in our life, but we need to replace them with virtues. If not, other vices will appear.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Luke 11

1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’

2 He said to them, ‘When you pray, this is what to say: Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come;

3 give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,

4 for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.’

5 He also said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves,

6 because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;”

7 and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you.”

8 I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship’s sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

11 What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake?

12 Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?

13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spiritto those who ask him!’

14 He was driving out a devil and it was dumb; and it happened that when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed.

15 But some of them said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he drives devils out.’

16 Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven;

17 but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Any kingdom which is divided against itself is heading for ruin, and house collapses against house.

18 So, too, with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom last? – since you claim that it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out.

19 Now if it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out, through whom do your own sons drive them out? They shall be your judges, then.

20 But if it is through the finger of God that I drive devils out, then the kingdom of God has indeed caught you unawares.

21 So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own home, his goods are undisturbed;

22 but when someone stronger than himself attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.

23 ‘Anyone who is not with me is against me; and anyone who does not gather in with me throws away.

24 ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of someone it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from.”

25 But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied,

26 it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, and so that person ends up worse off than before.’

27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!’

28 But he replied, ‘More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

29 The crowds got even bigger and he addressed them, ‘This is an evil generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.

30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be a sign to this generation.

31 On Judgement Day the Queen of the South will stand up against the people of this generation and be their condemnation, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, look, there is something greater than Solomon here.

32 On Judgement Day the men of Nineveh will appear against this generation and be its condemnation, because when Jonah preached they repented; and, look, there is something greater than Jonah here.

33 ‘No one lights a lamp and puts it in some hidden place or under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

34 The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is clear, your whole body, too, is filled with light; but when it is diseased your body, too, will be darkened.

35 See to it then that the light inside you is not darkness.

36 If, therefore, your whole body is filled with light, and not darkened at all, it will be light entirely, as when the lamp shines on you with its rays.’

37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at table.

38 The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal.

39 But the Lord said to him, ‘You Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness.

40 Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too?

41 Instead, give alms from what you have and, look, everything will be clean for you.

42 But alas for you Pharisees, because you pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and neglect justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others.

43 Alas for you Pharisees, because you like to take the seats of honour in the synagogues and to be greeted respectfully in the market squares!

44 Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that people walk on without knowing it!’

45 A lawyer then spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’

46 But he said, ‘Alas for you lawyers as well, because you load on people burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not touch with your fingertips.

47 ‘Alas for you because you build tombs for the prophets, the people your ancestors killed!

48 In this way you both witness to what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.

49 ‘And that is why the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute,

50 so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet’s blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world,

51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the Temple.” Yes, I tell you, this generation willhave to answer for it all.

52 ‘Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves and have prevented others from going in who wanted to.’

53 When he left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions,

54 lying in wait to catch him out in something he might say.

Luke 12

1 Meanwhile the people had gathered in their thousands so that they were treading on one another. And he began to speak, first of all to his disciples. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees — their hypocrisy.

2 Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear.

3 For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed from the housetops.

4 ‘To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.

5 I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, he is the one to fear.

6 Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight.

7 Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows.

8 ‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, the Son of man will declare himself for him in the presence of God’s angels.

9 But anyone who disowns me in the presence of human beings will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.

10 ‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but no one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven.

11 ‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say,

12 because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say.’

13 A man in the crowd said to him, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’

14 He said to him, ‘My friend, who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’

15 Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for life does not consist in possessions, even when someone has more than he needs.’

16 Then he told them a parable, ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land,

17 thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.”

18 Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them,

19 and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.”

20 But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?”

21 So it is when someone stores up treasure for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God.’

22 Then he said to his disciples, ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it.

23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

24 Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds!

25 Can any of you, however much you worry, add a single cubit to your span of life?

26 If a very small thing is beyond your powers, why worry about the rest?

27 Think how the flowers grow; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of them.

28 Now if that is how God clothes a flower which is growing wild today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, who have so little faith!

29 But you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry.

30 It is the gentiles of this world who set their hearts on all these things. Your Father well knows you need them.

31 No; set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well.

32 ‘There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.

33 ‘Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heavenwhere no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it.

34 For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.

35 ‘See that you have your belts done up and your lamps lit.

36 Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.

37 Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them.

38 It may be in the second watch that he comes, or in the third, but blessed are those servants if he finds them ready.

39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.

40 You too must stand ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

41 Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’

42 The Lord replied, ‘Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy steward whom the master will place over his household to give them at the proper time their allowance of food?

43 Blessed that servant if his master’s arrival finds him doing exactly that.

44 I tell you truly, he will put him in charge of everything that he owns.

45 But if the servant says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the servant-girls, and eating and drinking and getting drunk,

46 his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.

47 ‘The servant who knows what his master wants, but has got nothing ready and done nothing in accord with those wishes, will be given a great many strokes of the lash.

48 The one who did not know, but has acted in such a way that he deserves a beating, will be given fewer strokes. When someone is given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded of that person; when someone is entrusted with a great deal, of that person even more will be expected.

49 ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!

50 There is a baptism I must still receive, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!

51 ‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.

52 For from now on, a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three;

53 father opposed to son, son to father, mother to daughter, daughter to mother, mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law to mother-in-law.’

54 He said again to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does.

55 And when the wind is from the south you say it’s going to be hot, and it is.

56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?

57 ‘Why not judge for yourselves what is upright?

58 For example: when you are going to court with your opponent, make an effort to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer and the officer have you thrown into prison.

59 I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

Proverbs 26:7-9

7 Unreliable as the legs of the lame, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

8 As well tie the stone to the sling as pay honour to a fool.

9 A thorn branch in a drunkard’s hand, such is a proverb in the mouth of fools.


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