Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Jesus says: “Ask and it will be given to you…seek…knock and the door will be opened to you.” How do we hear this in our 21st Century when we want or need to see someone in a personal way? Often we are instructed: “When you arrive, ring the bell and you will be let in!” So, we arrive at our friends or appointment and we encounter a door with buzzers and cameras. We wait to be admitted and meet security face-to-face. We need to show our license and get a badge. God forbid a metal detector and electronic scan! The initial invitation or directions didn’t seem so complicated. Our world has gilded itself with an excess of barriers before a personal encounter, only to increase the wait.
Our human experience and way of proceeding can get transferred to Jesus and to his Father. This isn’t our God. This isn’t the Father Jesus came to show us. He really means it when he says: “Ask and it will be given to you.” What we are given may be the right fit, but perhaps usually different from what we think is best. Our God is faithful to us and keeps His Word. Ask, seek, knock! We are answered, we are given to, and we are let in through God’s timely ways.
Maybe he’s a little slow in coming to the door, but he isn’t screening us to see if we’ve been naughty or nice. We are in his presence already, but we want him to come to “this door” we present to him and he’s a bit slow in answering. What a woman in Harlem once said may help us: “Now, God’s not a fast person. He is a sure person. Swiftness is not his best thing. So you have to realize that when you ask him to help you it will not be done in the next breath. Sometimes it is, but nine times out of ten it will be done in his time, not your time.” Have faith in and act upon Jesus’ invitation today. God will respond, in his own way and time.
—Fr. Walter Deye, S.J., Socius/Executive Assistant to the Provincial, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits.
Help me out, my Jesus. I knock a lot; I ask for help and seek the light. But I’m impatient with myself and with others. Calm my heart; help me slow down; open me to the gift and grace you offer these days of Lent. Help me trust that, in your way and in your time, all will be well.
—Fr. Walter Deye, S.J., Socius/Executive Assistant to the Provincial, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits.Please share the Good Word with your friends!