Ask and you shall receive. As we see in the readings today, Jesus is encouraging us to ask for what we need. Even in the prayer he taught us, the Our Father, there is a petition for “our daily bread.” Sometimes it may be difficult to ask God for help such as when we feel on top of the world and everything is going our way. Some times when things are good, I tend to have a sense of pride and self-sufficiency. When I think I am doing it all, I do not recognize my dependency on God. I find it more difficult to acknowledge God as the source of all that I am and all that I have. I also am less inclined to share the riches bestowed on me if I think that I somehow earned them or have some right to them
I think that I am not dissimilar from many others in our great nation. Overall we have achieved a level of affluence not seen elsewhere. We take great pride in our democracy and tend to think that all other nations should follow our example. We are a nation that values self-sufficiency; dependency has become a sign of weakness and disdain. We guard our borders in fear of having to share our national wealth with anyone who has not earned it. We consume more of the world’s natural resources than any other country. We do all of this while we deny or waver on whether there should be any public acknowledgement of God’s existence on our coins, in the public places of our towns and cities, in our schools, etc.
Perhaps it will become easier for us to say prayers of petition and to acknowledge our dependency on God. As a nation we are beginning to feel vulnerable and frightened. Many are losing jobs, homes and retirement nest eggs. There are fears associated with the uncertainty about what is ahead of us as a nation and as a global community. These difficult times may be a blessing in disguise if we can accept and acknowledge our dependence on God. We need to be able to ask Him to be with us and to support us in these times. It is also a time to pray that our national leaders recognize their dependency on God and make sound decisions for the good of the whole country and the global community. It is a time to be like Esther, humble and persistent in our prayers. Asking God for help implies trust and hope. Certainly, God will not forsake what He has so lovingly created.
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