“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” - Matthew 7:7-8
Jesus reveals a God who promises to answer those who earnestly call out for help. Moreover, God doesn't give us just enough. God gives us in abundance. More than enough, more food than we can eat, more love than we dare to ask for. But if God is a generous giver, then why do many of our prayers remain unanswered?
Queen Esther’s prayer of deep reliance gives us a clue: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you.” - Est C:14 We can only see and enjoy God's generosity when our hearts and minds are unclouded and unfettered. When we are full of demands or attachments, we narrow our vision only to those peoples, things, and conditions that we think will make us happy. When we focus on what we did not get, we miss God’s blessings, disguised in other ways. We remain distant from God and unable to experience what God truly wants to give us, which is life and life in abundance. Moreover, we close ourselves to God when we, as individuals or societies, consume more than what we need, thereby restricting others access to God’s bountiful gifts. The journey of Lent involves recognizing when our sense of entitlement, self-preoccupation, or fear keeps us from experiencing God who wants what is best for us. And seeking help for conversion of heart.
Lord, help us to live gratefully and simply, so that others may simply live.