14 Mar 2019: Ask for Fraternity, the rest will also be given to you


Reading 1: Esther 4:17; Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12

For the one who asks always receives; the one who seeks always finds.

 The promises of Jesus are so exaggerated that none of us believes in them literally! “Just ask, and it will be given to you…. For anyone who asks always receives!” Is Jesus is given to hyperbole every now and then, like a typical politician?

Well, it all depends on what we ask of God! If you are a good father, you will not give your son a snake when he asks for bread! But when you are ready with bread, if your son asks for a snake, you are stuck. He is not ready to accept what you offer, and you cannot give what he asks! This is how the solemn promise, ‘ask and it will be given’ fails to work!

Actually, we must ask God not to give us everything we ask foolishly. Imagine if God actually gave us a snake only because we asked for it! We could accuse him one day! “You should have known what to give and what not to give,” we could accuse our father! Of course, that is why Jesus concludes saying that the Father always gives ‘good things’ to those who ask him.

The conclusion that Jesus draws in the last verse is strange and seems unconnected: “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you. This is the law and the prophets.” How does this follow from what he said before? May be that the only good thing that he really wants us to ask him is for the grace to treat others as our equals. That seems to be the law and the prophets – that is all that he wants and has taught! For us who constantly distinguish and divide the family of God, to ask for this sum and substance of all God’s gifts is the real grace.

This is the one thing that we probably are not asking God! So, he is stuck in our case. It is with the gift of love and brotherhood, that all the rest of God’s graces will also be granted to us!


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