Thursday of the First Week in Lent
Gospel Mt 7:7-12
Jesus said to his disciples: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."
Ask, seek, knock. We've heard the Gospel message so many times and I've used it secularly quite often: "ask and you shall receive" or "seek and you shall find" I tell co-workers. It just rolls off the tongue. Beautiful in its simplicity, it is extremely difficult in its praxis.
I mean, haven't we asked, begged, pleaded but did not receive, sought high and low but did not find; still felt lost, knocked, banged and a door refused to open? I've felt that way more times than I care to admit. But consider this dialogue:
'Dad, can I have chocolate cake for breakfast?'
'No, but I'm giving you cereal. Its good for you to start the day'.
'No' is an answer too, as much as we don't like to hear it. So going back to the Gospel "how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him."
"Aye, there's the rub" if I remember my Shakespeare: give GOOD things to those who ask him. Maybe what I'm asking, seeking, knocking for is not a good thing or in fact God has something better.
So here's a prayer that I found myself saying at a time when I was struggling with 'ask, seek, knock'.
Lord, I know you only have good for me so I claim that good even if I can't see it or feel it right now. Amen.
It helps me and I hope it helps you.
And finally the Gospel ends with a seemingly unconnected proverb that is equally simple and as difficult, if not moreso, in its praxis: "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."
Ah...the famous 'Golden Rule'. What would the world be like if we could adhere to this one, simple rule?
Lent calls us to at least try. Peace.
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.