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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 11:5-13

5Then Jesus said to them, "Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.' 7And suppose the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

REFLECTION: "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

We can understand this gospel in the privacy of our home. We sit in a comfortable chair, maybe drinking a cup of coffee, our tummies are full and we feel so blessed because of our home, our family, our church and our friends. Oh, yes, we don't mind being bothered by a neighbor who in the middle of the night asks us for help--or if our child wants a toy or an electronic device we don't mind having to work longer hours or saving up for that toy. Or we don't mind fixing food for our parents or children or donating our time to the yearly Thanksgiving feast held in downtown Houston.

But to truly understand this gospel. let us step outside of our comfort zone--in 2 Corinthians 8:7, Paul extols us to" excel in the gracious act of Giving". What an example we have in God, our Father, who gave up His Son for reparation of our souls. As Christ told us, " Where one's treasure is, there is our heart". Yes, we can try to understand what God has done , but do we feel what God did and what He continues to do?

God gave His Son as a gift and we are told to be like Him. Let us go out and show the homeless, those less fortunate than us, that God is there with a generous heart, no matter where the circumstances of life have taken them. God hears the plea of the broken and of the destitute and through us can show His limitless love, mercy and forgiveness . We can volunteer at a soup kitchen, we can pray at planned parenthood, we can work at Helping Hands, or we can volunteer to drive someone on their errands.

Look around you and see the people near you who are in need. Who are they? What happened to them? Ask , seek and knock on their lives. Let us tell the story of God's love for all. What gift are we planning to give this Christmas season?

PRAYER: Dearest Lord, please let me put my desires away and ask you what I can do for you. Show me your children who most need you and let them feel your love which is limitless. AMEN

Today also is the Memorial of St John XXIII. Visit our blog.

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