REFLECTION FOR TODAY
February 25, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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?” Matthew 7:9–10
When Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock in prayer, he promises that God will hear us when we approach him with a humble, grateful heart. We will be rewarded with good gifts when we persevere in our efforts to do God’s will.
Our gospel reference today is a rhetorical question posed by Jesus. No parent would hand their child a stone or a snake if they asked for food. But that of course is the point. Jesus goes on to say, “…how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”
When you pray with deep faith, will our Lord give you whatever you ask? Certainly not. Jesus did say, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” But this statement must be carefully read within the whole context of Jesus’ teaching here. The fact of the matter is that when we sincerely ask in faith for “good things,” meaning, that which our good God wants to bestow upon us, He will not disappoint. Of course, this does not mean that if we beg Jesus for anything whatsoever that He will give it to us.
What are those “good things” that our Lord will most certainly give to us? First and foremost, it is the forgiveness of our sins. We can be absolutely certain that if we humble ourselves before our good God, especially within the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we will be granted the freely given and transforming gift of forgiveness.
In addition to the forgiveness of our sins, there are many other things we need in life, and there are many other things that our good God wants to bestow upon us. For example, God will always want to give to us the strength we need to overcome temptations in life. He will always want to provide for our most basic needs. He will always want to help us grow in every virtue. And He most certainly wants to bring us to Heaven. It is these things that we must especially pray for every day.
But what about other things, such as a new job, more money, a better house, acceptance into a certain school, a physical healing, etc.? Our prayers for these and other similar things in life should be prayed for but with a caveat. The “caveat” is that we pray that God’s will be done. Not ours. We must humbly acknowledge that we do not see the big picture in life and do not always know what will give God the greatest glory in all things.
Reflect, today, upon how you pray. Do you pray with detachment from the outcome, knowing that our Lord knows best? Do you humbly admit that only God knows what is truly good for you? Trust this to be the case and pray with complete confidence that God’s will be done in all things and you can be certain that He will answer that prayer.
Dear Lord of infinite wisdom and knowledge, help me to always place my trust in Your goodness and care for me. Help me to daily turn to You in my need and to trust that You will answer my prayer according to Your perfect will. I place my life into Your hands, dear Lord. Do with me as you wish. Jesus, I trust in You.