Last March 1, 2012, I was given the opportunity to preach for our weekly Eucharistic Hour. Here below is what I shared with everyone on the Gospel for the day: Mark 7:7-12. I hope that as I have shared my lights, you too may have something to help you reflect whenever you feel as though, whenever we pray, God seems not answer us. Read on to find out in what way we should really ask the Father.
Everyone who asks receives.
– 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.
– If you, 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.
We are constantly called to prayer to be able to ask and receive God’s grace in certain moments in our lives. We as creatures created by God, humans, Catholic’s even, are constantly reminded that we have not been fully detached with the worldy things and in the Gospel, we sometimes find ourselves to be like the one who is “wicked” for Christ because there moments wherein we find ourselves doing good things and when the moment of prayer comes, we ask God to repay us with what we yearn for, but because of the wrong intentions (being able to get something good out of it) behind the act that of course, God knows, we even have the courage to say to God that, “I have done good things for others, I was good enough for me to be able to deserve these things from You, etc.” As if God owes us for praying to Him, doing good things, and such, when in fact it is our one of our duties as Christians. We should become dependent on prayer not because we did something good but because we know who we are and that God doesn’t owe us anything because He loves us, even for the littlest things; there should always be this yearning in our hearts to know the real way to pray. In the 3rd path of repentance by St. John Chrysostom, he tells us that, “Prayer keeps reminding us who we are. We are need. We are creatures. We can admire at the meaning of our life only by appealing to the One who gave us that life and invested it with a purpose.”
We then find ourselves reflecting these past couple of weeks a constant theme in the Gospels. We find Christ always mentioning the current generation as if it were directed not only during the time of His ministry, but also to this current generation. Our generation is being called, just as Christ did in His time, to seek Him more and more and to understand Him, and to truly have a deeper communion with Him so that what we earnestly want will be given to us. If the intentions of our hearts and minds are then, not pure or whole, or by the fact that we just merely do things half-empty and rely God to fill the rest of it without even doing anything else, He then may not fully give us what we long for (there are moments wherein we find ourselves asking why it is taking so long for us to receive, until sometimes it is too late or if it doesn’t go our way). In fact, this is true for most of us, He makes us wait until we fully understand the true meaning of His presence in our lives, why He is there to answer our prayers, and by using that time of waiting for that answer is for His presence to be fully present in our lives and for it to flow within us, and that we have fully entrusted our lives to Him. Ruth Burrows says that, “Learning true prayer means learning to die in the sense, Jesus meant by this: dying to egotism, self-determination, and self-achieving, and letting God recreate us in love in a way that only God can do.”
[Experience: Losing Faith in the 46 days in the Hospital and letting go by lifting up to God all my fears of what was and what is to come–this was a personal experience on the death of my father 3 years ago]
This Gospel today is our reminder for this Lenten season, that when we reflect on our sins this season, we are to seek for repentance, we must remember that when we ask, we ask within our hearts with the most purest of intentions. We ask without thinking of ourselves, but of others.
We ask Christ this Lent to open our hearts to God’s plan for us and that whatever we ask in our prayers will allow us to understand the sacrifices of His love for man. We ask with the virtue of hope that our hearts may be filled with that understanding of Christ’s love and why God had sent His only Son into this world.
We seek for answers, and with Christ’s Paschal Mystery, may we find ourselves with open minds and hearts, and with a clear view of His suffering and by allowing us to have Faith that we are to be in communion with Him. When we seek, we lift up ourselves to Him and make our Faith firm that whatever Christ allows us to find, is just.
And when we constantly knock on the heart of Christ, may His love and compassion be a reminder of us to live this season and the rest of our days with a yearning for repentance for it is with repentance do we actively participate in using our hearts to reach out to others through compassion and generosity. Pope Benedict XVI tell us that, “Those who act according to the logic of the Gospel live the Faith as friendship with God incarnate and like him, bear the burden of the material and spiritual needs of the neighbors. They see it as an inexhaustible mystery, worthy of infinite care and attention. They know that he who does not give God give too little.”
We then detach ourselves to what is and give ourselves to WHO IS! We sacrifice ourselves to be opened to something or rather, even someone who is Greater.
We are called to ask, seek, and knock through our prayers and sacrifices so that our hearts may be filled with an authentic desire to be with the Lord and to follow Him, and become filled with Holiness, that is, to understand and experience in that moment when we ask, He will give; when we seek, He will show us what we are looking for; and when we knock, He will open the door to that of His true presence. At the same time, we open our lives because He too knocks on our hearts to see Him, to love Him, to see His truth in His entire creation.
Now let’s each one ask our Mother Mary to help us live out whatever Christ may be asking of us and that she guide us in our prayers to seek with an open mind and heart the reality of Christ’s love for us.