The Gospel according to Matthew (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 asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks 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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, how often I forget to ask for what I need. You are always there to help me, yet I rush into my day forgetting that I need your grace, your strength, your wisdom, and your provision. Please fill me with the grace I need to see you in everything, so I won’t forget to include you in anything.
Encountering Christ: Today’s Gospel presents us with a very familiar and often misunderstood message. If taken literally, we can ask God for anything and we will get it. One of my favorite scenes in the movie “Bruce Almighty” is when the main Character, Bruce, is endowed with all the powers of God. However, he is also responsible for responding to all of the prayers of everyone. He decides to handle this monumental task via email. At first, he reads each one and responds with some prudence. But after continually falling behind and not being able to keep up with the demand he simply decides to respond to the remaining backlog by granting every request. The next day so many people had picked the winning lottery numbers that each winner’s share ended up being just a few dollars.
This is a perfect example of how the average person might approach this passage from Holy Scripture. Doesn’t it clearly say “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…” So why don’t I have the winning lottery numbers?!
It is because we so often approach our God, who knows us better than anyone, including ourselves with our eyes, minds, and hearts on the things of this world. If only I had more money, or a bigger house, or better spouse, kids, etc. These are issues that we all deal with in some way, shape or form. What we truly need is the grace, perseverance, wisdom, and knowledge to discern the things of God. He wants to give us everything. In fact, he already has! He gave us his only son that we may be reconciled to him and regain our eternal salvation. And that is not all. He continues to provide us with endless opportunities to experience his mercy, forgiveness, and love in every moment of our lives.
All we have to do is know what to ask for. And, if the answer is not obvious, then ask for everything because that is exactly what he wants to give each and everyone of us. But we must be ready to accept the gift that keeps on giving.
Let us consider the generosity of our God that surpasses all human comprehension. So much so that we struggle to believe that God is that Good. In encourage all of us to trust and believe that God really does love us so much that he gave his only begotten son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
Closing Prayer: Dear Lord, the giver of all we have or ever will have, thank you for gift of your son who came to teach, be an example, and die so that we may have eternal life with you. Grant that we may receive this gift with an appreciation that is reflected in a life that speaks your gospel of mercy and love.
Action for the Day: Ask God to lead you to the desires, places, and people whose prayers he is calling you to answer. A phone call, text, visit, meal, or other acts of charity are a sure sign that we are knocking on the right door.