Extracted from the book of Genesis 18:20-32:
The Lord said, ‘How great an outcry there is against Sodom and Gomorrah! How grievous is their sin! I propose to go down and see whether or not they have done all that is alleged in the outcry against them that has come up to me. I am determined to know.’
The men left there and went to Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Approaching him he said, ‘Are you really going to destroy the just man with the sinner? Perhaps there are fifty just men in the town. Will you really overwhelm them, will you not spare the place for the fifty just men in it? Do not think of doing such a thing: to kill the just man with the sinner, treating just and sinner alike! Do not think of it! Will the judge of the whole earth not administer justice?’ the Lord replied, ‘If at Sodom I find fifty just men in the town, I will spare the whole place because of them.’
Abraham replied, ‘I am bold indeed to speak like this to my Lord, I who am dust and ashes. But perhaps the fifty just men lack five: will you destroy the whole city for five?’ ‘No,’ he replied ‘I will not destroy it if I find forty-five just men there.’ Again Abraham said to him, ‘Perhaps there will only be forty there.’ ‘I will not do it’ he replied ‘for the sake of the forty.’
Abraham said, ‘I trust my Lord will not be angry, but give me leave to speak: perhaps there will only be thirty there.’ ‘I will not do it’ he replied ‘if I find thirty there.’ He said, ‘I am bold indeed to speak like this, but perhaps there will only be twenty there.’ ‘I will not destroy it’ he replied ‘for the sake of the twenty.’ He said, ‘I trust my Lord will not be angry if I speak once more: perhaps there will only be ten.’ ‘I will not destroy it’ he replied ‘for the sake of the ten.’
Extracted from Psalm 138:1-3,6-8:
On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord.
I thank you, Lord, with all my heart: you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I will bless you. I will adore before your holy temple.
I thank you for your faithfulness and love, which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul.
The Lord is high yet he looks on the lowly and the haughty he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of affliction you give me life and frustrate my foes.
You stretch out your hand and save me, your hand will do all things for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.
Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians 2:12-14:
You have been buried with Christ, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.
He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross.
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke 11:1-13:
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:
“Father, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come;
give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test.”’
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, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”; and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you.” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
‘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. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’
It was the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time on 28 July 2013.
Here are the Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day (see above):
1st Reading: Genesis 18:20-32,
Responsorial: Psalm 138:1-3, 6-8,
2nd Reading: Colossians 2:12-14 &
Gospel Reading: Luke 11:1-13.
We have extracted the Homily Pope Benedict XVI based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
Courtyard of the Papal Residence, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This Sunday's Gospel presents Jesus to us absorbed in prayer, a little apart from his disciples. When he had finished, one of them said to him: "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11: 1). Jesus had no objection, he did not speak of strange or esoteric formulas but very simply said: "When you pray, say: "Father' ", and he taught the Our Father (cf. Luke 11: 2-4), taking it from his own prayer in which he himself spoke to God, his Father. St Luke passes the Our Father on to us in a shorter form than that found in the Gospel according to St Matthew, which has entered into common usage. We have before us the first words of Sacred Scripture that we learn in childhood. They are impressed in our memory, mould our life and accompany us to our last breath. They reveal that "we are not ready-made children of God from the start, but that we are meant to become so increasingly by growing more and more deeply in communion with Jesus. Our son-ship turns out to be identical with following Christ" (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth [English translation], Doubleday, 2007, p. 138).
This prayer also accepts and expresses human material and spiritual needs: "Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins" (Luke 11: 3-4). It is precisely because of the needs and difficulties of every day that Jesus exhorts us forcefully: "I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Luke 11: 9-10). It is not so much asking in order to satisfy our own desires as, rather, to keep a lively friendship with God who, the Gospel continues, "will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11: 13). The ancient "Desert Fathers" experienced this, as did contemplatives of all epochs who became, through prayer, friends of God, like Abraham who begged the Lord to spare the few righteous from the destruction of the city of Sodom (cf. Genesis 18: 21-32). St Teresa of Avila addressed an invitation to her sisters with the words: we must "beseech God to deliver us from these perils for ever and to keep us from all evil! And although our desire for this may not be perfect, let us strive to make the petition. What does it cost us to ask it, since we ask it of One who is so powerful?" (Cammino, 60 (34), 4, in Opere complete, Milan 1998, p. 846) [title in English: The Way of Perfection].