Homily (Reflection) for Thursday of the First Week of Lent (18th February, 2016) on the Gospel
Est 14:1.3-4.11.13-14;Ps 137:1-3.7-8 (R. v. 3);
Topic: God is not a Herod.As I reflect on today’s gospel I remembered one day I packed just to pick few things. A madman approached me and asked for help. I did not know exactly why he went on to say that the bible tells us to ask and it will be given. As I smiled I asked him where it is in the bible and he quoted it impeccably (Matt 7:7).
Matthew chapter 7 verse 7 is normally seen as an open cheque given to us by God to ask and get exactly what we ask for. Wait a minute. If this verse is just this, what happens if I ask for your death and/or you ask for mine?
Our God is a perfect God, cf. 2Sam 22:31; Ps 18:30; Matt 5:48. He does not and cannot make mistakes. As we read the gospel further I would like us to pay particular attention to the adjective qualifying what to ask and what to be received, “If 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!” (Matt 7:11). I purposefully highlighted the adjective good and the nouns it qualifies. Even we mortals do not grant everything our children ask for.
Being a perfect God, He cannot fall into the mistake that landed Herod into approving the killing of John the Baptist. Remember, Herod did that because of the stupid oath he took, cf. Matt 14:9-10; Mk 6:26-27.
God asks us to ask and we shall receive on the condition that we ask for something good, cf. Jas 4:3. And neither what is evil nor what seems good because He is an all-knowing God, cf. 1Jn 3:20. The Holy Spirit is to assist us ask properly, cf. Rom 8:26. Finally, if we ask for what we should they shall be surely ours but again at God’s own time, cf. 2Thess 2:6. Be patient and know that God is still God, cf. Ps 46:10.
Bible Reading: Jas 4:1-10; Matt 5:33-48.
Thought for today: Our God is just in all His ways, and kind in all His doings, cf. Ps 145:17.
Let us pray: May the Holy Spirit help us to pray as we ought (cf. Rom 8:26) – Amen.
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