The common theme between the first reading and the Gospel is persistence in prayer. In the first reading, Abraham again and again asks the Lord for greater and greater forbearance with regard to Sodom and Gomorrah. In the end, the Lord agrees not to punish these cities with well-deserved destruction if only ten righteous people can be found there (a tiny percentage indeed and its relevance to the world today would be an interesting topic – for another day).
In the Gospel, after teaching the disciples what we know now as the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus exhorts them through a parable to be persistent in prayer.
It is sometimes easy for us to be discouraged, in prayer that seems unanswered and even in living a Christian life in the midst of a world of selfishness and godlessness. Today’s readings encourage us to be persistent, by the example of Abraham and by the glorious words of Christ Himself.
And I say unto you,
Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and you shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened to you.
For every one that asks receives;
and he that seeks finds;
and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
If a son shall ask a father for bread, will he give him a stone?
or if he ask for a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children:
how much more shall your heavenly Father
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?
God is patient with humanity and wants it to be saved. By His grace, we must be one with Him – in His love, His plan for salvation, and His time – as we join ourselves to Him in prayer and as we seek to be instruments of His saving love on earth.