The story is told of the young parents bringing their newborn baby home and introducing the newborn to their toddler son. The little boy was curious and excited as the parents explained to him that this baby had come to them as a gift from God. The parents then put their two children to bed, set up the baby monitor, and moved to the living room to relax.
A few minutes later the parents heard through the baby monitor, a sound they recognised as their toddler entering the baby’s room, then the voice of the toddler, clearly speaking to the baby saying: “tell me what God is like, I think I’m beginning to forget”.
This is the heart of all human problems: We forget what God is like.
Now take a moment to re-read this verse from today’s Gospel and then I’ll explain what I mean.
“If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
A wise child learns very early that the way to avoid punishment is to, quickly after the offence, apologise fully with sincere humility. A child who denies breaking the window and blames another is on the fast-track to punishment.
But the parent who receives a heart-felt apology from their child, immediately sets the offence aside and delights in the humble confession reaching out to embrace the child.
The same is true with God who, as Jesus reminds us, is much more loving and forgiving than the best of us even in our best moments.
I am delighted to be reminded of this. I know that I, sinful and unforgiving as I can be, if given charge of the gates of heaven for an hour, would throw them wide open, even to those who hate me and create problems for me.
Ok I admit that I would probably arrange for them to live in a part of heaven that was far from me, but I would not deny them admission if I were in control!
There would be some who would choose to not come in. I would leave them free, and not drag them in. But anyone who sought to live abundantly and eternally with God (and me) I would let in.
So how much more will God give good things now and eternally to those who ask him.
- Take a moment, perhaps 30 seconds, to be still in silence. Without re-reading any part of the above reflection, become aware of any image, thought or feeling that came to you as you read. Whatever came to mind, trust that it was Jesus who brought that to mind for you and remind yourself of this part of the reflection as often as you remember over the next few hours.
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