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For What Are You Seeking?

First Reading: Galatians 3:1-5

O stupid Galatians!
Who has bewitched you,
before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
I want to learn only this from you:
did you receive the Spirit from works of the law,
or from faith in what you heard?
Are you so stupid?
After beginning with the Spirit,
are you now ending with the flesh?
Did you experience so many things in vain?–
if indeed it was in vain.
Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you
and works mighty deeds among you
do so from works of the law
or from faith in what you heard?

Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

R. (68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; He has come to his people.

Gospel: Luke 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”

NAB

oct-6

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who seeks, finds.”

When I was struggling in my faith, wondering if God could hear a word from my tiny, strangled voice, choked as it was with grief, I struggled with this Gospel reading. Even now, when I hear of a medical miracle happening—I think of this verse and it gives me pause. One of the questions I will have when I (hopefully) come into God’s presence at the end of this life will be this: Why didn’t you answer our prayers to save my mother’s life? Did we not ask, seek, knock? Why then, was the door not opened to her, to us? What about those of us who prayed for miracles that never arrived?

I still feel that question linger on the periphery of my life at times, despite the healing I have and continue to experience from the loss of my mother as a child. I may not have been granted the miracle of my mother’s healing, but I was given a gift through her life and death. Her life taught me the importance of taking risks for love, the joy that comes from living whole-heartedly, and what a seeker truly looks like.

Her death taught me that God never allows one identity to die without replacing it with a truer, more real one. From daughter of an earthly mother, God used her death to invite me to lean on my identity as His child, the truest identity I will ever possess. Learning to live with her loss taught me that when we ask God for something specific, we should be prepared to be let down.

However, when we ask God to transform us, He never withholds tremendous opportunities for us to transform. Yet, for our pain to be meaningful, for it to be transformed, it has to be redeemed. For it to be redeemed, it has to be offered. For it to be offered, it has to be felt. We must embrace the ugliness of our pain before God can transform it into something beautiful.

So when we seek, ask, knock, we must be prepared, dear hearts, for the beautiful and brutal work required of us in order to find, receive, and walk through that open door.

[bctt tweet=”When we ask God to transform us, He never withholds ways for us to transform. // @fumble2grace” username=”blessedisshe__”]

What are you seeking? Is it what you really need?

Sarah Babbs is a writer and mother of three, including twin toddlers. She writes about faith, social teaching, and navigating life as a motherless daughter and mother. You can find out more about her here.

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