Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time [II]
Galatians 3:1-5 + Luke 11:5-13
October 8, 2020
O stupid Galatians!
This week and early next, we are hearing from the letter that Saint Paul wrote to the people in the region of Galatia. It’s not hard to tell that Saint Paul was unhappy when he wrote his Letter to the Galatians. Saint Paul wrote thirteen of the letters in the New Testament, and only in this letter, to the Galatians, does Saint Paul call people “stupid”. It must be something very serious that the Galatians have done to be called this by a saintly apostle.
The mistake that Saint Paul is trying to correct is about the Galatians thinking that they are going to get to heaven only because of what they do. The Galatians think that they are “making” the Holy Spirit present in their lives because of their good choices.
Instead, Saint Paul teaches, echoing the Gospel, that everything begins with God. Our good works are accomplished only because of the time and talent that God gave us. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives through the divine virtue of faith. Even within the Trinity, the Holy Spirit comes from the love of God the Father and God the Son for each other.
Everything begins with God. Jesus in today’s Gospel passage is teaching us about one specific type of prayer. There are four basic types of prayer (there are others as well, but these are the four main types). One way to remember them is to think of the word “pact”, as in an agreement.
The word “pact” has four letters. Each letter stands for a different type of prayer. The first of these—“p”—stands for “petition”. We should ask God for whatever we believe we most need in life. Sometimes God does not answer our prayers the way we want: but this helps us grow spiritually, too, because when one of our prayers doesn’t get answered the way we wanted, it’s a chance for us to learn once again that God gives us not what we want, but what we need.