In today’s Gospel Our Lord explains the willingness and commitment of Our Heavenly Father toward us using the examples of friendship, persistence, and paternal love. A good friend knows that if he is in a fix he can count on his friends to help him out. The friend asking for bread today is passing along the opportunity to be a good friend: he welcomed a guest into his home in the middle of the night, and he needs help to provide for that guest. Yet even if his friend refused at first, his persistence would pay off: that shows the friend, even if inconvenienced, is a friend who’ll come through. It is the friendship that gives the confidence to ask, repeatedly if necessary.
God is our friend; we can ask him for whatever we need, and he’ll respond as a friend should. However, Our Lord reminds us today that our relationship with God goes even farther: he is Our Father, and no father would give his child misfortune instead of a blessing. In today’s First Reading the Israelites are lamenting among themselves that apparently that the wicked are prospering while and they are not being rewarded for being faithful to the covenant–they’re not praying to the Lord, but the Lord is listening. Through Malachi the Lord encourages them to persevere, just as a son working for something difficult who continues to press forward, trusting in his father. To persevere in their fidelity they must continue to have faith that the Lord cares for them as a Father.
Ask today and you will receive; maybe not on your timetable, maybe not as you’d have expected, but the Lord as friend and Father will provide for you what you truly need.
Readings: Malachi 3:13–20b; Psalm 1:1–4, 6; Luke 11:5–13.