The good news for the day July 24

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (111)

Jesus was praying once out in a certain place. When he finished, one of his students said, “Sir, teach us how to pray the way John taught his people.” Jesus says, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your realm come. Give us every day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone who owes us, and do not subject us to an ultimate challenge.” (Luke 11)

As children, you and I talk straight up to people—parents and aunts. “Kids say the darndest things!” When you start to think for yourself, you start guarding your words. You do not say what people expect you to say—you select, omit, twist, hide and evade. You come to a point where some people you just talk AT, and others you talk TO with respect, expecting an answer.

Talking to God, however, is special. Your conversation with God is either a fake—aiming AT or TOWARDS God—or a real negotiation—heart-to-heart, person-to-person. He is either your living “Daddy” or something else—like leaving a voice mail. No, prayer is for real—a real conversation!

“Hallowed be Your name.” Now, for example, what does that mean in talking across the table with your Daddy? “Name” covers “family character” as well as “person”—as we might say, “She is a real Mother Teresa,” or he is like someone in the Kennedy family. You are praying that God will be the true Father of your family here on earth—not a false god, or a name abused or distorted into “Al Capone,” To be a member of God’s family means you pray that you act like a good child of a Good Father of your family (name)—that “His Name” be appreciated as “hallowed” or sacred in what YOU do as God’s child.

Your prayer is your Good News—Your intimacy, mutual love and growth are family talk around the table, sharing your honor as an honorable family. The Good News is your family closeness—your prayer is table-talk—chatting, asking, respectful, mentioning, sharing—friendly.

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