“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
Our Gospel passage contains one of the most quoted verses of the entire Bible: “Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9 or Matthew 7:7).
We quote this verse at the beginning of most of our prayers because it is a powerful faith booster. It is a reminder that we are not praying in vain. It is quite comforting that this verse was Jesus’ conclusion of a story about a man who got what he wanted from his friend at night after asking persistently.
Nevertheless, when Jesus says we should ask, did He mean we could ask for just anything? What did Jesus have in mind when he said we should ask, seek and knock? The answer to this question can be seen in the lines that follow. Jesus said: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).
In other words, what we are to ask for, seek for, and knock for is the Holy Spirit. When last did I ask for the Holy Spirit? How often do I deliberately seek the Holy Spirit? Do I even value the Holy Spirit?
Today, we hear Malachi warning us seriously about taking that same mercy of God for granted. It is one thing to be truly sorry for one’s sin, but a different thing altogether when I deliberately commit sin just because I know that God is merciful.
There comes a time that what was said in whispers behind closed doors would be heard over loudspeakers on roof-tops. (Cf. Mark 4:22) There comes a time that we must dance to the rhythm of the music we have been playing with our own hands. Never take God for granted.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my love for the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Bible Study: Malachi 3:13-20, Ps. 1:1-4,6, Luke 11:5-13)