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17th Sunday of Ordinary Time C
July 28, 2019
Anne Osdieck

First Reading
Genesis 18:20-32a

1. What do you learn about God in this reading? How does God respond to the persistence of Abraham, who keeps on bargaining? What does this tell you about God’s justice and mercy?

2. What do you learn about Abraham in the story? What behavior of his would you like to imitate? How important were persistence and candor to him? What are God and Abraham willing to do because of their covenant?

Second Reading

Colossians 2:12-14

1. Why would Christ’s action allow the children of God to ask the Father for all they need, or allow us to ask and know what we will receive, as in today’s Gospel?

2. The reading refers to Jesus as “ … having forgiven us all our transgressions; obliterating the bond against us … ”  The New Jerusalem Bible translates this as “ … he has forgiven us every one of our sins. He has wiped out the record of our debt to the Law, which stood against us.” Which translation makes it easier for you to appreciate what Jesus did for us?


Luke 11:1-13

1. How is the sleepy father an example of God in this parable? How are they different? Do you have confidence that God will hear you knock on his door? What do the readings this week do for your confidence? Do you think God already knows all your prayers of petition? Are your prayers of thanksgiving spontaneous?

2. Reflecting on this Gospel of Luke during his daily Mass homily, Pope Francis tells us that prayer is a courageous “knocking at the heart” of God with a strong unwavering faith that he will respond. What is God’s ultimate gift to us when we do this?

Do we get ourselves involved in prayer? Do we know to knock at the heart of God? … The Lord never gives or sends a grace by mail: Never! He brings it himself!

What we ultimately discover in our asking for various things, (is that) the true grace and answer to our prayers is God's gift of himself to us.

When we pray courageously, the Lord gives us the grace, but he also gives us himself in the grace: the Holy Spirit, that is, himself! Who comes to bring it to me. It's him. Our prayer, if it is courageous, receives what it asks for, but also that which is more important: the Lord. …

Let us not embarrass ourselves by taking the grace and not recognizing him who brings it to us, him who gives it to us: the Lord.

Pope Francis, Vatican City, Oct 10, 2013 

Anne Osdieck
Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go