Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daily - 3/4/09

Matthew 7:7-12 (Thursday's Gospel)

7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,

10 or a snake when he asks for a fish?

11 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

12 "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.

Matthew gives us the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5, 6, and 7. For my money, this is one of the best reads in all of the bible.

For years I'd heard verses 7 and 8 - ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened. It wasn't until relatively recently, however, that I'd thought much about what those words truly mean.

Really, this is a big question. How does one go about seeking something that is everywhere, yet invisible?

Over time, I've come to see seeking God as a combination of several things: studying Scripture, a deepening prayer life, participating in the Sacraments, and investing my time in our parish (i.e., the Body of Christ). If I had to pick one of these that is the most important, I would say prayer, because that truly leads to all of the rest.

This can be very easy to forget on a day-to-day level. For example, several months back I was frustrated because I couldn't get my arms around what it truly means to live a “Life in the Spirit." Finally, I PRAYED about it. I sought it out. I asked God to reveal it to me. I knocked on the door. And He answered.

That's the way it works. All faith comes from seeking. God won’t force us into his kingdom. He shows us little bits and pieces, and we decide if that’s what we want. Then we look up and ask for more, and he shows us more. This process lasts a lifetime.

Developing/increasing your faith and marching toward spiritual maturity doesn’t require great intellect, or some special gift only available to few. For years I had thought that was the case, and I was continually frustrated that I couldn’t unlock the answers to spiritual questions. What I've been able to see in the last year is that when I take those questions to God (i.e., seek Him), God usually reveals the answers to me.

If you don’t feel your faith is deep enough, ask God to help build your faith. If you’re looking for an answer to a difficult question, ask God to reveal the answer to you. If you are in a time of trouble, cast all your anxieties upon God, and just seek him. It really is that simple. Sure, the situations can be extremely difficult and the questions can be extremely tough, but remember – God can overcome all of that instantly. If we seek Him faithfully, we will NEVER be disappointed.