October 10, 2019 (Thursday of Week 27 Year I)
Ask and it will be given…
Dear friends in Christ, there is no one who is so rich, as to have no need of anything else. At one point in life, everyone asks for help either from God or from a fellow. To pray at all, is to ask. Children ask their parents for all of their needs. Many times, without voicing it, parents know and provide what is good for their children. There are times when children ask, but due to better understanding and the experience of parents, they do not accede to such requests. It might take sometime for the children to understand why, but parents do have their reasons for not giving all of what they ask.
In our Gospel today (Luke 11:5-13) Jesus was teaching his disciples about prayer and gives a practical example to drive home a point on prayer and persistence. A man had a guest at an awkward time, with nothing to feed him for the night, and so went to his friend’s house to knock; while the latter was already in bed. Knocking at such an hour is a disturbance to the man, but Jesus says that, “Though he will not get up and give him anything because he is a friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs.” We sometimes get tired of praying when it should be the other way round. Why are you tired when God is not tired of listening to you or answering your needs? Even when he delays to answer, it is for a purpose. Pray till something happens, till you get an answer. Jesus then told the disciples, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you.” This lesson from Jesus is a single command. One should not ask and just go to sleep. The one who ‘asks’ must make the right effort which amounts to ‘seeking’ and he needs to follow up, by taking advantage of the opportunities available which amounts to ‘knocking.’ The person who is praying for a job cannot post his application letter and then go to sleep.
Jesus also challenges our understanding of how God answers prayers. “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” God is all loving and caring towards his children and answers them by giving to them what He knows to be the best. Sometimes what a child asks for may not be the best for the child, it takes a responsible parent to give only what is beneficial to the child. Why will God refuse if you ask for the gifts of the Spirit? We need to align our wills to that of God and ask rightly. Once that is done, we are certain that what we ask, will be given to us.
Let us pray: Lord, help us to align our wills with yours and give us the grace to hear your word amidst the noice of our world today. Listen and answer our prayers. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen