Lord, teach us to pray
(Mt 6:9; 7:7)
• 1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 And Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this:
Father, hallowed be your name,
may your kingdom come,
3 give us each day the kind of bread we need,
4 and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive all who do us wrong,
and do not bring us to the test.”
• 5 Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to his house in the middle of the night and says: ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine who is traveling has just arrived and I have nothing to offer him.’ 7 Maybe your friend will answer from inside: ‘Don’t bother me now; the door is locked and my children and I are in bed, so I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 But I tell you, even though he will not get up and attend to you because you are a friend, yet he will get up because you are a bother to him, and he will give you all you need.
9 And so I say to you, ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. 10 For the one who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
11 If your child asks for a fish, will you give a snake instead? 12 And if your child asks for an egg, will you give a scorpion? 13 Even you evil people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those who ask him!”
Jesus and Beelzebul
(Mk 3:22; Mt 12:23; Mk 4:21; 9:40)
• 14 One day Jesus was driving out a dumb demon. When the demon had been driven out, the mute person could speak, and the people were amazed. 15 Yet some of them said, “He drives out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the chief of the demons.” 16 So others wanted to put him to the test by asking him for a heavenly sign.
17 But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every nation divided by civil war is on the road to ruin, and will fall. 18 If Satan also is divided, his empire is coming to an end. How can you say that I drive out demons by calling upon Beelzebul? 19 If I drive them out by Beelzebul, by whom do your fellow members drive out demons? They will be your judge, then.
20 But suppose I drive out demons by the finger of God; would not this mean that the kingdom of God has come upon you? 21 As long as the strong and armed man guards his house, his goods are safe. 22 But when a stronger one attacks and overcomes him, the challenger takes away all the weapons he relied on and disposes of his spoils.
• 23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
• 24 When the evil spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through dry lands looking for a resting place. And finding none, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 When it comes, it finds the house swept and everything in order. 26 Then it goes to fetch seven other spirits even worse than itself. They move in and settle there, so that the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
• 27 As Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to him, “Blessed is the one who bore you and nursed you!” 28 Jesus replied, “Surely blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it as well.”
• 29 As the crowd increased, Jesus began to speak in this way, “People of the present time are evil people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. 30 As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here there is greater than Solomon. 32 The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah’s preaching made them turn from their sins, and here there is greater than Jonah.
33 You do not light a lamp to hide it; rather you put it on a lampstand so that people coming in may see the light.
34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye sees clearly, your whole person benefits from the light; but if your eyesight is poor, your whole person is without light. 35 So be careful lest the light inside you become darkness. 36 If your whole person receives the light, having no part that is dark, you will become light, as when a lamp shines on you.”
Woe to you, Pharisees!
• 37 As Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to have a meal with him. So he went and sat at table. 38 The Pharisee then wondered why Jesus did not first wash his hands before dinner. 39 But the Lord said to him, “So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full of greed and evil. 40 Fools! He who made the outside, also made the inside. 41 But according to you, by the mere giving of alms everything is made clean.
42 A curse is on you, Pharisees; for the Temple you give a tenth of all, including mint and rue and the other herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. This ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other. 43 A curse is on you, Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and to be greeted in the marketplace. 44A curse is on you for you are like tombstones of the dead which can hardly be seen; people don’t notice them and make themselves unclean by stepping on them.”
45 Then a teacher of the Law spoke up and said, “Master, when you speak like this, you insult us, too.” 46 And Jesus answered, “A curse is on you also, teachers of the Law. For you prepare unbearable burdens and load them on the people, while you yourselves don’t move a finger to help them. 47 A curse is on you, for you build memorials to the prophets your ancestors killed. 48 So you approve and agree with what your ancestors did. Is it not so? They got rid of the prophets, and now you can build!”
• 49 (The Wisdom of God also said,) “I will send prophets and apostles and this people will kill and persecute some of them. 50 But the present generation will have to answer for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, the people of this time will have to answer for them all.
52 A curse is on you, teachers of the Law, for you have taken the key of knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you prevented others from entering.”
53 As Jesus left that place, the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to harass him, 54 asking him endless questions, setting traps to catch him in something he might say.