All we have to do is ask

Every now and then I come across a word or phrase that surprises me. Although familiar, something new presents itself and I have to pause and reflect on the difference. This past weekend I attended our annual diocesan diaconate retreat on the shores of Lake Tahoe. During a period of quiet reflection my mind was suddenly filled with the phrase from Luke 11:9 and Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”

As I reflected on its meaning I suddenly saw something new in the passage, something that I had never discerned before. While it was, quite honestly, rather trite and unimportant I realized that the first letter of the first word of each phrase spelled the word ASK. While I am perfectly aware that this discovery is of no real or practical importance it did cause me to more deeply reflect on these words of our Lord and Savior.

Upon reflection I concluded that each phrase calls us to act; we must actively and purposefully engage in some action: Ask, Seek, Knock. Without action there can be no reaction, no consequent response. In addition, each act requires that we condition ourselves, prepare ourselves in some manner for the response from God.

If you ask, you must listen.

As I learned during the retreat, to pray you must “sit down and shut up” although I personally prefer Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I Am God.” All of your senses must be tuned to hear God’s voice. Remember that God speaks to us in many forms, not necessarily as you might expect; often not with words.

If you seek, you must open your eyes, your mind, and your soul.

You must shine the light of Christ within in order to discover the unseen, the hidden. You cannot find what you seek in the darkness.

If you knock, you must enter and embrace the unknown, the unknowable.

You must put aside your fears of what lies beyond, knock down the walls of separation, distrust, hatred, and fear. You must accept and embrace what is now unknown to you because it is, it will be of God.

Every moment of our lives are unknown before we live them. The moments yet to come lie there like a closed door, a shuttered eye, a blocked ear. We cannot hope to live them, enjoy them, and embrace them unless we ask, seek, and knock. God is ready to respond, all we have to do is ASK.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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