Thursday, March 5, 2009
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 asked
for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked 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."
Rev. Matt Williams '97
Director of New Evangelization for Youth/Young Adults
Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Center
I was at a birthday party not too long ago and in the midst of the many discussions, one topic took center stage: walking across a bed of coals- barefoot. The gentleman went on to tell us about his experience of a motivational seminar that he attended in which the attendees actually walk across burning coals. Amazing! What I found extraordinary was that before each person made his or her first step, they had already visualized and celebrated their victory.
Standing at the threshold Lent, forty days can sometimes feel like an eternity. Those freely embraced sacrifices, prayers, almsgiving and service can at times distract us from the VERY reason why we do them.
In Today's Gospel Jesus reveals to us the heart of His Father, Who is the well-spring and summit of all our Lenten practices. We are reminded that as Children of God, we are to pray with a sense of confidence (the root of which means-"with faith") that God always hears our prayers and grants everything according to His loving providence.
The Son in the story does not ask for his "wants" but for his "needs" (bread and fish). Lent provides a grace for us to be stripped of our wants to our bear needs. It helps us to focus on that which is most important-our union with the Father through His Son, Jesus.
As we begin Lent and step out into the purifying coals of sacrifice and discipline, we celebrate what God is doing in us and through us to make Easter joy come alive in our world-following the example of our Savior: "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…" (Heb 12:2).