FEB. 25. LENT. WK. 1. THU. MT. 7. 7-12.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. Is there a man among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.’
Today’s reading forms a small part of Christ’s sermon on the mount where he introduced his followers to a new outlook on life, and to new values that are in accord with the Will of God.
The focus of this teaching is the need to have trust in the Father’s love; - something that can be extremely difficult when we are experiencing trials or hardship, which are frequent aspects of our earthly life.
Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, was trying to prepare his followers for a new situation, where he was introducing them to circumstances that put the Will of God ahead of their own wishes and desires; - and telling them this was the path to happiness.
The introduction to the Sermon; - “Happy are the poor in Spirit”; - providing an indicator that Christ was about to introduce a radical new way of living!
Even today these new teachings involve a strange concept, in that we are asked to deny our own wishes and desires; - which necessarily calls for self-denial and sacrifice; - yet, at the same time we are told this is the way to both happiness and peace.
The only way Christians can follow such a way of life is by having Faith in Christ, acknowledging him as the Son of God, and placing our trust in his teachings, which are so totally foreign to “the way of the world.”
At the heart of this new message is a profound Truth we can easily overlook; - especially when we are called to renounce our own desires; - and this is that God loves us; - even though we are sinners; - and we have to remain aware of this fact if we want to obey his teachings.
Christ’s mission was to reveal this Divine Love, and teach us how to return it; - and he did this by giving us “The Great Commandment” where we are called to Love God and Neighbour; - rather than ourselves!
This reading draws attention to this divine love when we are told: “Ask, and it will be given to you! - Search, and you will find! - Knock, and the door will be opened to you; - a teaching that has the Love of God for his people as its foundation.
The reading then addresses how we are to Love God, by following the Great Commandment, and “treating others as you would like them to treat you,” – thus putting the Will of God and the needs of others before our own; - something we are unable to do without a profound awareness, and trust, in God’s Love for us!