Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Ask..., seek..., knock" Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7:7-12.

Book of Esther C:12.14-16.23-25.
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said:
''God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O LORD, my God. And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.”

Psalms 138(137):1-2ab.2cde-3.7c-8.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple.
I will give thanks to your name,

because of your kindness and your truth.
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7:7-12.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asks for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.
Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."

"Ask..., seek..., knock"

When prayer is addressed to a man then first of all it has to express the wishes and needs of the one who makes the prayer. Its aim is also to bend the heart of the person one is beseeching so as to make him yield. Now, these two things are no longer needed when prayer is addressed to God. When praying we don't have to concern ourselves with making our desires and needs known to God: he knows everything (Mt 6,8)... If prayer is necessary to obtain God's blessings it is because it exercises an influence over the person praying, so that he might think over his own poverty and move his soul to desire fervently and in a filial spirit what he hopes to obtain by prayer. By this very thing he makes himself able to receive it...

Praying to God at once makes us intimate with God since our souls rise up to him, engage lovingly with him and worship him in spirit and truth (Jn 4,23). And thus, in this familiar friendship with God that prayer produces, the way is opened towards an even more trustful prayer. Hence it is said in one of the Psalms: “I have called upon you,” that is to say I have prayed with trust, “for you have answered me, O my God” (Ps 17[16],6). Having been received into God's intimacy by a first prayer, the psalmist then prays with even greater confidence. That is why, where prayer addressed to God is concerned, perseverance or insistence in asking is not out of place. To the contrary, it is pleasing to God because, says the Gospel, “we should pray always without growing weary” (Lk 18,1). And besides, our Lord invites us to ask: “Ask and you will receive,” he says, “knock and it will be opened to you.”

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