Seventeenth Sunday of the Year Gen 18:20-32; Col 2:12-14; Luke 11 :1-13 Today’s readings are about the power of prayer. In the first reading, Abraham pleads with God to spare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the gospel passage, Jesus urges us to ask his Father for what we need, and assures us that our prayers will be answered. For some of us, that’s enough to keep us praying. But sometimes we wonder: Doesn’t God know what we need? Does God need reminding? And how about the times when we don’t get what we asked for? Good questions! There are no easy answers, because we can’t even begin to understand God, who always eludes our comprehension. And Jesus doesn’t try to explain, either. But he is very clear about what we are supposed to do. He tells us to ask, to search, to keep knocking on the door...and he assures us that the door will be opened. In the gospels, Jesus is usually portrayed as a person of great patience. But sometimes he shows impatience, even resentment, at people who do not trust his Father to take care of them. This is one of those passages. Listen to him: "If your child asks for a fish, will you give a snake instead of a fish? If the child asks for an egg, will you give a scorpion? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father?" Do you blame him for being impatient? After all God has done for us, how could we not trust? It’s as if we said to God, "what have you done for us lately?" But what about the times when we didn’t get what we asked for? Well, those of you who have children know that sometimes they ask for things that are not good for them. Sometimes you just can’t give them all you want to. It’s the same with God. But Jesus assures us that no prayer goes unanswered; every prayer is answered in some way. He says "Ask, and it will be given you." What will be given? He doesn’t say. "Search, and you will find." Find what? Maybe not what we’re looking for. Maybe something better. "Knock, and the door will be opened." What is behind the door, he doesn’t say. But one thing is sure. Behind that door is a loving, caring God who is faithful, who will never abandon us. Don’t ever doubt that, not for a minute. James DiGiacomo, S.J.