Thursday of the First Week in Lent
(Esther C12:14-16; 23-25; Matthew 7:7-12)
You are late for a meeting and cannot find a parking space. So you say a prayer for help. Should you expect that a space will be forthcoming? Or should you just prepare an excuse for being tardy? The first stance bespeaks presumption and the second, desperation. The proper disposition lies in between. We should not expect God to treat our every request as if He were our attendant. In the gospel today, Jesus defines His relation to us. He is like a father who loves all his children dearly. Nor must we think that God might hold back something necessary for our well-being. He knows our needs better than we do. Our attitude vis-à-vis God should always be trust.
Perhaps we would accept Jesus’ exhortation to prayer more readily if we think of God as our family physician as well as our father. As our doctor knows how our sick bodies will respond to different stimuli, God knows what is best for us in every situation. Like our doctor’s prescription of strict dieting or, in severe cases, chemotherapy, God’s ministration may not be pleasant or even intuitive. Nevertheless, it would be unwise to ignore what God’s sends our way as inconsiderate and foolish not to seek His help in the first place. No, God’s care for us and His knowledge of us warrant our utmost confidence.