Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.
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?
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.
It’s no secret that most people aren’t the biggest fans of Lent.
It’s hard to deny yourself – comforts, pleasures, the ease of choice and freedom. No one likes to be told “no,” to willingly walk into suffering, to remove the “flavor” from life. But then again – do we all have a reason for our Lenten promises?
It’s easy to say “I’m giving up chocolate for these 40 days,” but why are you giving it up? Are taking away in order to gain? Or are you taking away because it’s what’s expected of you?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find.” This Lent, we should fast from the distractors and plushness of our lives so that when we ask the Lord the questions that lay on our hearts, we have the space to hear His answers. We aren’t distracted by the “glittery” things of the world, but narrowed in on His voice alone. He wants so much to speak to us, but so often we just don’t listen.
A few verses later, Christ proclaims, “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?” I once heard a priest explain this: a sandy stone can look like a loaf of bread, and a snake can disguise itself as a fish when slithering through the water. They both look like what we want, but in the end, we’re disappointed by what we get. We were fooled.
The world says it has so much to offer us. This chocolate will leave you satisfied. Sleeping in will be a great start to your day. All this television time will only help your day go smoother. We take what we think we want, but in the end, we are still not filled, we still want more. This Lent, let’s drop the things that we regularly grab onto, the habits that we think are filling us, and leave our hands open for the Lord to place what he truly knows will satisfy us. For, “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?”