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Cross

Christianity
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Ask and it shall be given to you

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Luke 11: 9- 20 (KJV)

11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

11:12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

11:14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.

11:15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

11:16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

11:19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

Discussion

In the first verse of today’s reading we come across our Lord’s promise “Ask, it shall be given to you; seek, you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”. If someone of us takes this, as a promise for the perishable amenities of this world, we must admit that we are mistaken. In Psalms 50:15 we find a promise from Lord God. There we read, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I shall deliver you and you shall glorify me”. Again in Jeremiah 23:3 also we find a similar promise from Lord God. “Call unto me, and I will answer you and show you great and mightier things, which you don’t know.”

Our Lord taught us what to pray and how to pray. St. Matthew gives a good account of it in his Gospel. In chapter 6 from verse 5 onwards we read our Lord’s teachings about prayer. Prayer is often defined as the conversation between the faithful and his or her heavenly Father. We all must judge ourselves how we are praying and what we are praying. Even if we are praying the canonical prayers, we often say the prayers from our memory that is stored in our childhood. As we have been taught to pray at least two times a day, we do pray. But many of us do not consider it as a conversation with our heavenly Father. We must think why we are praying and what we are praying at least once in a while. Our canonical prayers are so deep in meaning and significance. While we pray we must realize the real sense and meaning of our prayers.

There are many denominations who give preference and priority for the instant prayers other than the prayers in the books. Such prayers are concentrating more and more for the worldly needs of humanity. In St. Matthew 6:8 we read, “You be not therefore like them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him”. We must meditate on this verse with much care and interest. Our God never expects or wishes to have prayers with long lists of our needs.

In verse 13 we hear our Lord’s expectation about us in submitting our prayers and petitions. He asks “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” From this statement it is very clear that we are supposed to pray for the Holy Spirit, and not at all for the perishable worldly riches or joys. In our Holy Church there is a very good understanding and teaching about the Holy Spirit, but unfortunately we all ignore the due importance for the topic. In all our Sacraments, there is a very solemn occasion of the brooding of the Holy Spirit.

When we think about our link and connection with the Holy Spirit, we all must consider two points. Firstly we all need a renewal of the Holy Spirit in us that we received through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism and Holy Mooron. Secondly whenever we long for the renewal of the Holy Spirit in us, we must be patient in waiting for the inspiring of the Holy Spirit.

According to the teaching of our Holy Church, whenever Holy Spirit broods upon the Holy Mysteries on the Altar during the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, it will brood upon the entire congregation, provided all the faithful were in expectation to receive the Holy Spirit. During the Holy Eucharist, the Deacon exhorts the congregation about the importance of the time when Holy Spirit would inspire and brood upon the Holy Eucharist. We the faithful have to start our ‘waiting and expectation’ must start at least from the eve of the Holy Sacrament. Our Church Fathers of blessed memory used to wait for the next Holy Eucharist from the very moment they finished one.

We must long for the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us and in our Church. Then only we could witness our Lord and be real Christians of good witnessing. We must have a staunch faith in our Lord God. We should not have a wavering minds and thoughts. That is what our Lord is reminding us in verse 20 of today’s reading. Our Lord says that if we could accept him as he is, we are in the Kingdom of God. Let us pray earnestly for the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us and in our Church. May God bless us.

Source: SOCM Forum

See Also:

Orthodox Prayer
by Bishop Paulos Mar Gregorios, Indian Orthodox Church

Access to God
Becoming a true Christian has enormous consequences. Relationships are changed; we are given privileges, we look at life differently; our resources are inexhaustible. How do we receive all of this?

Chosen Ones - Cleansed in the Furnace of Affliction
We are chosen as an afflicted people and not as a prosperous people, chosen not in the palace but in the furnace.

Submission to the will of God
All things are safe in Jehovah's hands; what we entrust to the Lord will be secure, both now and in that day of days towards which we are hastening.

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