Twilight Twitches

msgrfetscherDear Family,
What kind of a bargainer are you? In the first reading this weekend, Abraham gives us a master class in persistence. When you get to the gospel, you understand why the Abraham reading was picked. Jesus Himself says, “Ask, seek, knock.”

I remember one way we learned as kids about prayer and praying. We learned to use the word ACTS: A=Adoration, C=Contrition, T=Thanksgiving, and S=Supplication. Those were the elements that went into prayer. So, when I hear ‘ask, seek, knock,’ I feel a little guilty because I seem to ask more than I adore or atone or thank. Maybe that’s just my Irish soul saying I shouldn’t be just asking all the time.

And yet, here is Jesus Himself really stressing the supplication aspect of our relationship with God. And not only that, but He also pushes perseverance in asking, seeking, knocking.

Then we get into discussing what are the ‘good things’ we should be asking for. Sometimes, one man’s good is another man’s poison. Don’t ask me why the example of a chocolate creamed-filled donut going to a thin man came to mind. A chubby guy – guess who, sure doesn’t need one.

Molly Mattingly is the director of the ministry of music at Creighton University. In the Daily Reflec-tion for today (Online Ministries) she wrote:

There have been times when I thought of Jesus’ words here with some resentment. “Okay Jesus, but what you must really mean is ‘ask the right question, seek the right thing, knock on the right door.’ Because it feels like I’ve been asking, seeking, and knocking persistently for a long time without receiving, finding, or having the door opened!” I’ve so far learned a couple things from those times: that asking God to “tell me what to do” or thinking that I have to “figure it out” isn’t helpful in prayer. Those tendencies sneak in subtly and frequently!

Later on in her very excellent reflection she says:

Remembering Jesus’ words within the context of teaching us how to pray helps bring them into focus. (St. Ignatius teaches us) we know God speaks to us through our deepest desires. Naming our desires before God is an honest prayer. God wants us to ask, seek, and knock about those desires! Honesty like that is the foundation of good discernment, a collaboration with God, a participation in the abundant life God wants to give us. “Even when you were dead,” writes Paul, “[Christ] brought you to life along with him.” God draws us close through our desires.

Check it out.

Speaking of donuts and food, I hope you were one of the folks who shared the parish BBQ and Ice Cream Social last Sunday. Remind yourself of who our Pastoral Council members are on the front of this bulletin. They pulled it off for us as a special gift.

It takes a family, and the Pastoral Council did a wonderful job of throwing the party. Some people said to me that it was the first time they had been able to ‘party’ since the beginning of COVID. I hope and pray we will be able to pass through this fall without undergoing another wave of virus.

To the Council, and to Scott Martinez who wields a happy spatula, I give our thanks! Please God, Oktoberfest will be a possibility. (Marge Mitchell does a mean German potato salad that maybe we can put on the menu. It will kick up the salad quality by more than a few notches.)

Here’s to the quality of our asking, seeking, knock-ing. Jesus told us to kick it up a notch as well. We will do so,

In his Name,
sign frjim

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