Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 11:1-13

‘Ask, and it will be given to you’

Asking for things in prayer is perhaps one of the first things we learn on our faith journey. In the Primary classroom if you set the children the task of writing a prayer the results will almost always be prayers of petition. There will be prayers for their families, their pets, perhaps for a world event, and then something which can seem completely random. I learnt a good deal about the heart of child from reading these prayers.

 ‘search, and you will find…’

As adults we probably spend more time than we realise searching for physical things that we have misplaced. In recent years I have found myself adding digital searching to my regular searching activities. There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting to bookmark that excellent article or brilliant hack. There’s always a part of my brain that just wont give up until I have found what I need.

For St Benedict the search for God is as ardent as our search for things that we have lost. There’s a terrific dynamism to the way he expresses this in the Prologue to his Rule:

‘As we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commands, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love. Never swerving from his instructions, then, but faithfully observing his teaching in the monastery until death we shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share in his Kingdom.’

The search for God is all encompassing.

‘knock, and the door will be opened to you.’

From time to time our Bidding prayers in our monastic oratory include a prayer for those who are ‘unable to knock.’ It strikes me that sometimes we can struggle to find the door and the courage to knock. We aren’t always convinced that the door will be opened.

When I hear this text I’m always conscious of those in my life who, without realising it, have somehow made it a little easier for me to ask, search and knock. Sometimes it has been by their example. Sometimes is has been a chance word or conversation.

Are there people in your own life who have made it easier for you to ask, search and knock? Thank God for those people.