Sunday 26 July 2020

Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time – Year A

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 11:1-13

The power of desire

Seeking is typical of man.
Not of every man, but of man. Seeking for oneself, for others. Seeking gets passion, curious, is disquieting and creates expectations. Seeking means predispose oneself to find, seeking keeps one moving. Seeking is following a route that may lead to new ways.
Somehow seeking means having already found. Seeking is wishing, getting involved, digging, smelling around with nose and mind.
Happiness, joy, companionship, satisfaction, relationship, family, home, work, social status, the car’s fuel, fun. We look for companionship to spend a good evening with friends, or a good table at the restaurant. Some try not to spend too much, others try to spend a lot. Some seek satisfaction by helping others, others by ruining others. Some seek tranquillity, others agitation. Some seek relationship to defeat solitude, others seek solitude to defeat relationships. There is who tries to sell and who tries to buy. Some seek peace and others war. Some wish to be busy and others to be bored, some seek healing and others want to give up. There is freedom of thinking and freedom of seeking.
Everyone looks for what he wants and wishes.
But very few know how seeking really works, it is something Jesus reveals in this page of the Gospel.
Usually we take these words of Jesus as a clear indication about the power of prayer, and that is true, but only in part.
The question the disciples asked was: teach us to pray. And Jesus answered teaching them the Holy Father and then telling them a parable explaining how the mechanism of seeking and desiring works. With these words Jesus not only wants to invite us to pray with insistence and faith for what we are looking for and need, and maybe we are not getting, but there is more, much more.
How many times have we heard or thought: “The Lord id not listening to me, He does not help me with what I need”, or “I got the exact opposite of what I asked for, my life is unlucky, blessed the others to whom nothing wrong ever happens”?
Jesus today reveals something great, He says: ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. It is for sure a beautiful invitation to pray, but if we take a closer look to it, we can consider these words not as an invitation but as a real fact, not as something we could do, but as something that happens in the very moment we ask and wish for it.
Ask and you will receive does not only mean: be insistent and you will get what you asked for, but ask and you will always get what you asked for. It look like it is the same thing, but it is not. Jesus meant that everything happens and that we receive is always, always in every circumstance, in every moment, what we have wished, even if we are not aware of it, it is what we have asked for.  Jesus reveals that all you are really seeking, you will find.  And even if your mind did not know it was looking for what you got, somewhere, deeply and resolutely, you asked life for what happened to you, otherwise you would not have gotten it. Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” always describes what happens and how it happens, even if you do not know it.  What you really ask for you will receive, what you seek you will find, where you knock it will be open to you:  this always happens, always and perfectly.
It is not the most beautiful thing to hear and it is not easy to accept and explain, but so it is. Jesus wants us to know that everything that happens to us is because we have desired it with all our strength. This is why it becomes very important for us to become aware of what we are really whishing and how strongly we are wishing it, because here is where our life is at stake. Indeed, Jesus continues, everyone who asks receives and who seeks finds and who knocks it will be open to him. 
If the prayers for your conversion are not fulfilled, now you know why: it is because while a part of you prays for your conversion, a deeper and more resolute part of you does not want or seek for any conversion.
The many times you knocked at doors which never opened, it was because, in your heart and your desires, you did not really wanted to knock, and you did never really wished them to be opened to you.
Now, try to read again Jesus’ words on the power of desire when it comes from the soul, and eventually you will begin to understand what kind of real desires are steering your life, and how and which ones you would like to change. In the Sirach this truth is spoken and revealed most clearly: Say not: "It was God's doing that I fell away"; [...] Say not: “It was he who set me astray" […] There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him. (Sirach 15,11-17).
Absolutely nothing happens by chance, what opens or closes in our life is nothing more than what we choose and wish for, consciously or not, every second.