• Gabriel von Wendt

Luke 11:5-13 - It Is Free

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?"

Probably, you are not used yourself to communicate your thoughts by means of parables. Every now and then you may feel the urge to express something, however, for which you lack the precise words. In moments like that, you have maybe used rhetoric tools similar to parables: common idioms, metaphors, or movie scenes. While such rhetoric tools are multiple, I dare say that nobody goes through the ordeal of creatively crafting a semantic vehicle unless he really has something to say; something which makes the heart swell and demands to be conveyed.


That is particularly evident in today’s Gospel. Jesus really wants to make a point here. Look at how picturesque his images are, how commanding the sceneries, how insistently repetitive the message. The message, in fact, is simple enough: Ask! Three letters suffice to define it, but Jesus fleshes it out for a reason.


If someone told you that they are serving free waffles in the lobby, you might as well go there straight away. If you don’t, you are probably just not hungry. But once the scent hits your nostrils, well…

Ask! It is free.

Why are we not asking God for more? I can only see one reason: we do not believe it. We have not sniffed the fragrance of grace in our souls. Facing this ignorance, Jesus’ heart swells. He is virtually trying to drum into our heads the simple message: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”


Listen to Jesus. Realize that there probably are corners in your soul which do not fully believe in His grace, which do not buy the message that reads: The Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. Listen to Jesus and believe Him. It (literally) seems tasteless not to respond to His invitation. Today, bombard Him with petitions, the first one of which could be: “Give me what I need to grow in our friendship today. Whatever this entails - whether it be giving me or taking things from me: I only request Your love and Your grace, that will be enough for me.”

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