“IT” WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU
(Wednesday, October 25)
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you (καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν); seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Lk 11:9-13)
The beginning of today’s Gospel-reading can be misleading in English, because it reads: Ask, and *it* will be given to you… Knock, and *it* will be opened to you. We might think, whatever *it* is that we are asking for, *it* will be given or opened to us. But there is no explicit *it* in the Greek original, and we need to look at the full context of what the Lord is talking about here, in order to understand the promise He is making us. It is the unbroken promise of the Holy Spirit, given to the persistently praying Church. His presence in our lives, by His divine energies called “grace,” changes everything; our perspective, our focus, our effectiveness in whatever vocation we are given. It is what we are to desire, ask, seek, and knock for, when we understand what is good for us.
The above-quoted passage is part of our Lord’s long response to a disciple’s request, made at the beginning of this 11th chapter of Luke: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” The end of our Lord’s response, with the promise that the Holy Spirit will be given to us if we ask persistently, shows us what or Whom it takes, truly to pray. *We* can (and should) ask, knock, and seek, but the door into prayer is opened by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And open it does, when we keep at it, a little bit throughout our every day. We are the ones who shut it in the first place, through mistrusting God and trusting more our own whims and ways, along with the voices and resulting fears in our own heads. We are created free, so we can choose to shut out from our lives and decision-making processes the grace of the Holy Spirit, Who does not force Himself on us. We are hence the ones whom Christ calls to take up the dignifying work of dismantling our road-blocks, which keep God from (re-)entering our lives as He wants to do. Let me accept this challenge today, and ask, knock, and seek for the One Thing Needful, the One Thing that changes everything. “Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!”