Thursday of the First Week of Lent
(Esther C:12.14-16.23-25; Matthew 7:7-12)
Skeptics will use gospel passages like the one in today’s Eucharist to demonstrate the folly of prayer. They will say something like, “Lord, give me a million dollars.” Because they never receive the fortune, they conclude that God does not listen to prayers. Of course, they misunderstand what Jesus is saying.
Jesus’ premise is that we go to God as His children. He wants us to develop a relationship with God that is as close as the one many enjoy with their natural parent. One man recalls how his father was the finest person he ever met. He said the father was not educated but intelligent and, more than that, truthful and caring. Trusting that God is eminently like this, we will find Him responsive to our petitions.
We develop a filial relationship with God by showing Him gratitude for all that we have. We thank God even for our own handiwork because it can be ultimately traced to Him. Then we ask God for what we need. We will do it humbly because we recognize that He has already blessed us abundantly. We will find our prayers answered as surely as the sun rises.