The Gospel according to Luke (11:5-13)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. And I tell you, ask and you will receive; 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. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
If you are a parent or grandparent, then you know what it is like when our children or grandchildren want something. Sometimes the approach is very direct, others, it is a hint of some kind. And as their desire for what they want increases so do their efforts to wear us down. I remember when I was 12 or 13 and I was at a department store and I saw a pair of platform shoes I just had to have. Yes, platform shoes! It was the 70s. I asked my mother and immediately got a “no”. But after lots of pleading and whining, she gave in. Although annoying, the persistence of someone who wants something often pays off.
In today’s gospel Jesus reminds us of the generosity and benevolence of the Father. And like many other times he uses human interaction to help us relate to and understand what seems so difficult. We have all been in a situation when a friend asks us for something at an inconvenient time. And although we care for our friends, we can sometimes be annoyed by what we perceive to be an inconsiderate request. Taking this concept of generosity one step further Jesus asks us to consider how we treat our children when they ask us for their needs. We provide for them out of a sense of responsibility but more so out of love. And for those who love their children we will bend over backwards to give them what they need, and often, what they want.
Let us remember that God loves us so much that he sent his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life (John 3-16). The Son came to be like one of us, to show us the way, suffer, die, and rise so that we would not be deprived of the greatest gift, a relationship with our Father. Jesus is constantly trying to tell us, show us how much the Father loves us and how much he wants us to participate in the salvation of the world. It begins with charity at home and radiates out to everywhere we go and to everyone we meet. If we profess to be Christians, then that means that we want to be disciples of Christ. A true disciple not only learns from his master but tries to emulate their actions. All we need to do is ask God for the graces we need everyday to have the heart of a servant, like his son. And to share that with everyone. Ask and you shall receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.
Action of the day:
Is there someone in your life who has been asking for something? Maybe it is inconvenient, challenging, or you think you are not capable or up to the task. Ask God for the grace and wisdom to discern what to do. If the request will help them draw closer to God then pray for the compassion and strength to provide for their needs. Share what has been so generously given to us.