Gospel: Lk 11:5-13
Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to his house in the middle of the night and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine who is traveling has just arrived, and I have nothing to offer him.’ Maybe your friend will answer from inside, ‘Don’t bother me now; the door is locked, and my children and I are in bed, so I can’t get up and give you anything.’ But I tell you, even though he will not get up and attend to you because you are a friend, yet he will get up because you are a bother to him, and he will give you all you need.
And so I say to you, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For the one who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
If your child asks for a fish, will you give him a snake instead? And if your child asks for an egg, will you give him a scorpion? If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
In 1850 American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne published a story entitled “The Great Stone Face.” It is about a gigantic and noble face that nature had carved on the side of a mountain overlooking a village. An old legend said that one day one of the villagers would come to resemble that majestic and saintly Stone Face. A young lad longed for such a man to show up one day. Meanwhile, he passed all his leisure hours contemplating the Stone Face. Time passed. The lad became an old man. One day the villagers realized with a shock that his luminously holy face had become the exact resemblance of the Great Stone Face.
In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus tell us: “Ask and it will be given to you.” There is a mystery here for many of us. Because we ask for many things which we never receive. And our faith is shaken. But Jesus does not say that we will necessarily receive what we ask for, only that something will be given to us. And it always is—if not what we asked for, then something better. Perhaps that something better is the slow transformation that takes place in us if we look at God long enough.