February 25, 2021, Thursday in the First Week of Lent
Scripture: Matthew &;1-12
‘Ask, and it will be given to 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.
Meditation: "Ask, and it will be given to you . . .”
We have heard or read these words countless times — in worship, on a retreat, reading Scripture. Their very familiarity could make them lose their impact unless we really think about them.
A nun once met a young woman who was not very religious. They got to talking about the Bible, and the nun was amazed when the young woman quoted this passage and told her that she tried to live her life by these words. She confided that she had been searching for meaning in her life and one day read this saying of Jesus. It struck her, and she found in it an answer to her yearning. She realized that God was the one she had been searching for, and that she could trust in God and his promises.
It’s a simple story of one person’s experience, a story that has been shared by millions down the years. Jesus understands our needs, desires, and wants. How can we not be touched by Jesus’ assurance that he hears us knocking and sees us searching? This is not the only place in Scripture where Jesus makes this promise. For example, Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “whatever you ask in my name, I will do . . .” And he immediately repeats himself: “you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it” (Jn 14:13-14). And again, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (Jn 15:7); “whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you” (Jn 15:16). He even says, sounding almost as if he is longing for us to ask for our heart’s desire: “Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete” (Jn 16:24).
These words of Jesus strengthen our faith, making it a vital force in our lives. They are a true source of joy and hope, comfort and courage, inspiration and direction.
Lord, help me always to place my faith and trust in you. Help me always to believe in your words and promises, confident that you will grant what I need for my spiritual good. Help me especially to remember your promise when I find myself overly anxious about my needs or the needs of those I love. Instead of fretting, I want to remember to turn to you and remind us both of what you have said: “it will be given to you.”
“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.”