The thread tying together the Hebrew Testament and the Gospel reading is about being fearless in asking God for something. In the first reading Abraham does not want God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He pleads for these cities by talking directly to God and asking Him to change his plans. But he doesn’t ask, he is persistent in asking, pushing for more and more mercy each time. It reminds me of a little child who keeps asking and asking until he breaks his parents down and gets what he wants.

Similarly in the Gospel, Jesus tells a story about a man who wants to be hospitable and is asking his neighbour to lend him some food to give to his guests. When he doesn’t get the response he wants from his neighbour, he asks again and again until he does get what he wants. Jesus praises the man for his persistence in asking. The major lesson here then is to have persistence in asking God for what you want.

Jesus comfortingly tells us that if you ask it will be given to you because God is a loving parent, and like any parent, loves and his or her child and listens to the needs of that child. Even parents with bad parenting skills do that, Jesus says.