Ask for Anything

The Gospel teaching on asking, with its embedded parable, seems to set the tone. Though I am sympathetic with the sleepy householder (Ask sooner, friend? Ask more quietly, more politely? Bake your own bread?) I hear something quite different: Ask for anything. Ask importunately. Ask for basics. Ask for big. When I redirect to Abraham asking God for a threatened city, Abraham sounds too careful, too tentative, too easily satisfied. Why stop at ten? Maybe Lot’s wife is a small recap of the story, set inside the main narrative: Commit to what you want and need rather than lean back for what might be more sensible. The psalm, as usual, restates as though there were no problem: When I call, God responds. Sometimes I think that is the scandal for believers today: How can God have let "x" happen? But St. Paul suggests to me that the promise made is not that we will get everything but that we get the most wonderful of the gifts: eternal life which swamps our deficiencies, weaknesses, stubborn propensities, our sorrows. They simply cease to matter as we are folded into something much deeper. Barbara Green, O.P.

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