"Ask and you shall receive."

Seventeenth Sunday of the Year Gen 18:20-32; Col 2:12-14; Luke 11 :1-13 Today’s readings are about the power of prayer. In the first reading, Abraham pleads with God to spare the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the gospel passage, Jesus urges us to ask his Father for what we need, and assures us that our prayers will be answered. For some of us, that’s enough to keep us praying. But sometimes we wonder: Doesn’t God know what we need? Does God need reminding? And how about the times when we don’t get what we asked for? Good questions! There are no easy answers, because we can’t even begin to understand God, who always eludes our comprehension. And Jesus doesn’t try to explain, either. But he is very clear about what we are supposed to do. He tells us to ask, to search, to keep knocking on the door...and he assures us that the door will be opened. In the gospels, Jesus is usually portrayed as a person of great patience. But sometimes he shows impatience, even resentment, at people who do not trust his Father to take care of them. This is one of those passages. Listen to him: "If your child asks for a fish, will you give a snake instead of a fish? If the child asks for an egg, will you give a scorpion? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father?" Do you blame him for being impatient? After all God has done for us, how could we not trust? It’s as if we said to God, "what have you done for us lately?" But what about the times when we didn’t get what we asked for? Well, those of you who have children know that sometimes they ask for things that are not good for them. Sometimes you just can’t give them all you want to. It’s the same with God. But Jesus assures us that no prayer goes unanswered; every prayer is answered in some way. He says "Ask, and it will be given you." What will be given? He doesn’t say. "Search, and you will find." Find what? Maybe not what we’re looking for. Maybe something better. "Knock, and the door will be opened." What is behind the door, he doesn’t say. But one thing is sure. Behind that door is a loving, caring God who is faithful, who will never abandon us. Don’t ever doubt that, not for a minute. James DiGiacomo, S.J.
9 years 10 months ago
Amen!

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

In this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The budget’s moral measure will be assessed by “how well it promotes the common good of all,” the bishops write.
Kevin ClarkeMay 22, 2017
A veteran activist provides a blueprint for creating a movement in the moment of Trump.
Nathan SchneiderMay 22, 2017
Given the number of those in the California legal system today who are Latino, “you can guess a large percentage of them are Catholic.”
Jim McDermottMay 22, 2017
Pope Francis waves during a visit to give an Easter blessing to homes in a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea, May 19 (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano).
Vatican leaders seem quietly confident that the meeting will go well.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 22, 2017