March 02, Thursday of the First Week of Lent
Esther 12: 14-16. 23-25; Matthew 7:7-12
The intercessory dimension of prayer is highlighted in today’s readings to instill in us the reality of our dependence on God. The First Reading from the Book of Esther even quotes this as a foundation of the identity of God’s people: ‘As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O Lord, always free those who are pleasing to you.’
Hence Jesus teaches us in the Gospel today to be trustful, even to be intrepid in approaching the Lord. Let us truly believe Jesus’ words: ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.’ Jesus gives the reason why we should be courageous in doing so. It is because God is our Father. He – our beginning and end – is committed to give what is truly best for us: ‘your heavenly Father gives good things to those who ask him.’
Perhaps the first question is how do we discern and decide what to ask for: are our petitions truly good, are they for the wholistic betterment of our life and that of others? Or are we prone to remain on the superficial level, seeking only and always what is material, what boosts our pockets and our image?
There is also a second aspect: the dimension of time. Perhaps we are prone to doubt that God truly answers our prayers because our expectations are centered on our instant gratification. Wisely the teaching of Jesus does not say, ‘ask and it will be given to you immediately!’ The reality of life teaches us that God responds to our prayers in ‘his own good time,’ which is truly the perfect time, again because He is our Father who knows and desires what is best for us.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.