Daily Office Readings for Friday after the 5th Sunday of Easter: Year 2
“Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (Matthew 7:7)
I believe the most significant lessons of our lives come as a result of the questions we ask. We live in a wonderful time. With our phones we literally have world libraries in our pockets. We can ask anything in the world. This does not come without a caution however. The old saying is true, “garbage in; garbage out.” Readers beware. And again, advice from a friend of mine, “ask a question and question the answer.”
When it comes to Godly concerns, we can read the Bible but I don’t recommend it to be done in isolation. Find a priest or trusted theologian to consult with or at least a recommended commentary. There are also Bible Study classes that can be taken to help you. And with this I recommend such classes to open and close in prayer. It is also necessary when asking such questions to go beyond the Bible to the saints of old and the saints new.
Many of the saints who have gone before us have answers to our questions. But let’s place this passage where it belongs; our Lord Jesus is talking about judgment, specifically, not judging others. He uses examples of the speck in our neighbor’s eye and the log in ours. And then he goes into how we treat our children whom we love as God loves us. The point here is that we want what is best for those we love remembering that God loves us all. Sometimes we really don’t know what is best given that we bring our own baggage (or log in our eye) into the situation. So we must ask God for what is best, knowing that God’s response may be uncomfortable at times. From one of our saints who has gone before us we have a prayer in our Book of Common Prayer that I think addresses what we should ask for;
A Prayer attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (BCP 833)
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John