Faith Daily | 2 March 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p482
O Lord, who for our sake fasted forty days and forty nights:
give us grace to use such abstinence,
that, our flesh being subdued to the spirit,
we may ever obey your godly will
in righteousness and true holiness;
to your honour and glory,
who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 7: 7-12
7 ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
12 ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Leanne Hallas
This short reading contains arguably three of Jesus most quoted teachings:
1. Seek and you shall find.
2. Ask and it shall be given.
3. Do unto others.
Because we learn these from the time we are children they are also arguably the most misunderstood. But they are deceptively complex.
1. It is not enough to knock once or to ask once. Seeking our Lord can't be a half-hearted enterprise. Seeking of itself requires persistence. Knowing God is an ongoing journey of faith, focus and follow-through. This continuing journey takes effort on our part. But Jesus assures us that we will be rewarded for our perseverance.
2. I was told when I was little that God always answers prayers but sometimes he says "no".
Ask and it shall be given.
In Jesus example the loving father quite rightly grants the child's requests for bread and fish. But what is the reaction to stones and snakes? Even an "evil" father would not give those.
But how many people pray for the "stones and snakes" of our modern world? Will our loving Father grant our requests for things which are detrimental to our physical, mental and spiritual health no matter how persistent our prayers?
We must surely be asking our Lord for what is good for us: patience, wisdom, love, mercy and understanding. Then what we ask will be given.
3. And finally: "The Golden Rule" we learnt as children.
Do unto others.
This is a positive statement by Jesus asking us to take the initiative. It is the foundation of "active" goodness and mercy. It is not enough to do no harm or worse, do nothing at all.
Jesus asks us to show kindness, justice and mercy to others as our living Father has shown to us. And as Jesus taught us earlier: we must give without expecting to receive.
Guide me along my journey of learning to know you which leads by faith to eternal life.
Grant my prayers for wisdom, faith, perseverance, love and mercy.
Lead me through respect, justice, love and kindness to treat everyone as my neighbour.