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 remember, as a new parent, I wanted to give my children EVERYTHING! I wanted to make sure they had things I didn’t as a child. I wanted to shower them with whatever their hearts desired. Then reality and some common sense led me to the realization that this was not the best approach for them or me. Maybe a lot of us start out that way until we understand, as parents, we are called to provide for their needs and when possible and appropriate give them what they want.
Isn’t it interesting that we often forget this healthy approach to providing for our children when it comes to what we expect from God. Too often we ask for things that aren’t necessarily what we need but what we want. And even when we pray for our needs we often think, If God really loves me He will give me what I ask for. If we foolishly expect this based on today’s gospel then we are sadly mistaken.
Although this passage from Matthew’s gospel appears to give us the green light to ask for and expect God to give us whatever we want, we need to remember our responsibility as parents. We discerned what was best for our children, why would we not expect the same from our God. He knows what we need even before we ask. And when we ask for things that go beyond our needs, he discerns what is best for us. He is a good father!
So next time we lament the perception that God is not answering our prayers regarding both our needs and wants, let’s remember, Father Knows Best. If our desire, born out of love, to provide for those we care for is any indication or even a hint at how much God loves us then we do not have to worry. Let us trust and depend on God’s providence. Why? Because as it says in Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” God is a GOOD Father.
Action of the day: After praying and meditating on today’s gospel think about how generous God is. In light of that grace let’s practice what we hear at the end of today’s gospel, “Do unto others whatever you would have them do to you.”