F1. What do you learn about God in this story? Abraham keeps bargaining with God. How does God respond to such persistence? What does this tell you about God’s justice and mercy?
F2. 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 is each one, God and Abraham, willing to do because of their covenant?
S1. “ … [H]e brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us … our transgressions; obliterating the bond against us … ” Why would this action of Christ allow the children of God to ask the Father for all they need, or allow us to ask and know we will receive, as in today’s Gospel?
S2. Our translation from the liturgy refers to Jesus “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?
G1. How are God and the sleepy father in the parable similar? 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 and praise pretty spontaneous?
G2. During his daily Mass homily, Pope Francis, reflecting on this Gospel of Luke, tells us that prayer is 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,
**From Saint Louis University