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 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.”
Reflection: I grew up in a modest home in East Los Angeles (Boyle Heights). We always had a roof (sometimes leaky) over our heads, food (sometimes the bare minimum) on our table, and clothes (sometimes highwaters, cramped toes, and cardboard to cover holes) on our backs and feet. If we asked for any “extras” the answer would often be no. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining about my parents. I am simply sharing a part of my childhood. Although I never consciously thought about it my children did not have to contend with the minimum. Ana and I gave them more that what they needed. And when asked they would hear yes more often.
Does that make us better parents? Of course not!! My parents did the best they could with what they had. They also made sure we had opportunities they did not have like education and a solid spiritual foundation. We tried to do the same for our children, we did the best we could. Today’s gospel is a reminder that when it comes to the provider of ALL good things, we can trust that we will aways receive what we need, not necessarily what we ask for.
As indulging parents, we gave our children things they did not need. As more mature and responsible parents we learned how to discern between what our children needed and what they wanted. This is just a glimpse into understanding our relationship with God who ALWAYS knows what is best for us. So, as we struggle to seek, knock, and ask for what we perceive we need most let’s be patient with Our Father who will never hide and ready to open the doors that lead to His most precious grace. This is the only way we will be able to minister to those who need us when they are seeking and knocking. We can be the door that leads them to Christ and His mercy, forgiveness, and love.
Do unto others whatever you would have them do to you is not a recipe for revenge but a path that leads to asking God how we can share the bountiful gifts he gives us when we ask for what we all need. We cannot give what we do not have. But when our cup overflows then we all benefit from the giver of all good gifts.
Action of the Day: How is your Lenten journey going? Do we need to revisit our deisres and intentions? Maybe today we can bring this to prayer and with contrite and humble hearts ask God to open the door that helps with our ongoing conversion.