ESTHER C:12, 14-16, 23-25 · MATTHEW 7:7-12
“Ask and it will be given to you … 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 7:7, 9-10
Years ago I prayed for my father’s healing, and his Alzheimer’s only worsened. This passage can be extremely unsettling when we ask and do not receive what we ask for. I cringe when I hear someone quote this passage as if it were all automatic, because there are certainly times when our prayers are not answered in the way we are asking,
and very hard things happen. We seem to be handed a stone instead of bread, a snake instead of fish. If we would not do this to our children, why would God? We ask to be kept safe, but we are broken open.
Only slowly have I realized that it has been in that breaking open that I have come deeper into God. It was not the bread I had asked for, but it was the Bread of Life.
Practice – Let us reflect on what we are praying for these days – in our lives and in the life of the human family. In each instance of longed-for goodness, as we pray, follow the petition with an entrusting of the outcome to God’s wisdom and mercy.
Prayer – Dear God, who loves us more than we can ask or imagine, help us to trust that, no matter what we ask for, you will always give us life.
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