Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ask, Knock, Do

Thursday of the First Week of Lent

By Beth DeCristofaro

“Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.”  (Esther 12:25)

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.  … Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 7: 7, 12)

Oh, God, Restore to me the gladness of your salvation; uphold me with a willing spirit.  (Psalm 51:14)

If one did not know that Queen Esther is pleading for the lives of all the Jews in the kingdom, and her own life, one might read her imploring as the words of the psalmist or even a heartfelt Lenten prayer.  During Lent we mourn our failings which close doors, walling ourselves away from life with Christ.  During Lent we seek to become aware of our brokenness in order to call upon God to grace us with healing and draw us closer. 

Jesus answers Esther and He answers us:  “Ask.”  “Knock,” Jesus says.  God’s extravagant love is there for our taking if we but Ask, Knock, putting ourselves into a willing receptivity of God’s grace, dependent on Him to open the door.  Once we do, it becomes only natural that our mourning be turned to gladness and our self-centeredness be transformed into selflessness because we deepen our awareness of God within.  Esther’s anguished petition came from her knowledge that time was short and lives depended on her.  Lent gives us a timetable, something quite useful for those of us who become complacent knowing God is always present and that I can keep working to “succeed” in my Lenten promises.  Ask, Knock today.

Sometimes what holds us back is a sincere, willing spirit.  Time is short and precious measured in our human days.  Don’t wait to ask with a sincere and willing spirit.  Then put the grace given to you to work in doing to others what you would have them do to you.  God does not wait for us to be perfect.  Don’t expect and wait for the perfect time or the willingness of another to do so.  Be willing and ready to be joyful.

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