Wednesday 4 November 2015

1st Thursday of Lent 1e jeudi de Carême, année impaire

’Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.’

Est. 14, 1-14 Ps. 137 Mt. 7, 7-12

THURSDAY of 1st WEEK of LENT

“Everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks, finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.”

Jesus converses with us about how necessary it is to pray and also tells us about the power of prayer. We are unable to understand Christian life without a loving relationship with God, and at the heart of this relationship there is prayer. Life on earth is a life of pilgrimage, and prayer brings us closer to God. It opens up the doors of his immense Love, giving us a foretaste of Heaven. And so Christian life is a continual asking and a continuous searching. When faced with extreme situations in our life, God asks for our faith and confidence. This confidence leans on ’the welcome’ we make to our brothers who suffer. They can count on us as far as we can help them. If possible we’ll serve them. ’Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.’ This becomes possible because in our daily life we hold out because of our prayer. God loves and delivers us. He likes to see us perseverant in prayer and that we keep on asking Him, because He alone can give us what is lacking in our lives. But we need great perseverance, and Jesus insists ’Whoever asks, receives, whoever seeks , finds, whoever knocks, the door will be opened.’

“Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for fish? If you, the, evil a you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask!”

In prayer we can’t just ask for anything at all, but we should ask for what is really good, good things. In the prayer of ’Our Father’ we touch on this benevolence of God according to His Will : seek only the Will of the Father, his Kingdom, our greatest happiness is that His Name may be made Holy. And so God’s Glory shines on our faces, it is the blossoming of His Love. Queen Esther illustrates very well

the ’spiritual combat’ in which we find ourselves very often embarked! ’She said to God ’In the mortal anguish that takes hold of me, the only help I have is you, o Lord!’ God will in fact answer her cry.

“So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the prophets.”

We may complain how God does not listen to us for we cannot see any immediate results, or because we think that God does not love us. In this case it can be quite useful to think of the advice given by Saint Jerome : ’ For sure, God gives to those who ask, that he who seeks, finds, and that the door is opened to the one who knocks : it is quite clear that the one who has not received, found, or to whom the door has not been opened, has not asked how he should have, or looked as he should have, nor knocked at the door as he should have.“Let us first and foremost ask God that he makes our heart good as Jesus’ heart. The relationship of love that we have with God is expressed in our prayer. I am someone poor who only has God as my help and God is attentive to what I ask of Him. It is this relationship of trust that purifies us, changes the world, and it is together that we turn towards God imploring Him one for another. Everything that you want others do for you, do so for them. ’The harmony between the two loves for God and for man manifest the vertical and horizontal dimension of the Cross of Jesus.”

“Your Father will give you good things! He will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask it!”

Let us ask for the grace to dwell in his Love.