Saturday, March 9, 2019

Opening Our Hearts to the Lord

No matter what condition we are in or what evils we have done, God can still reach us. No sin is too great for his forgiveness and mercy. "Ask, and it will be given you" (Matthew 7:7).

What a simple promise! But do we really take Jesus seriously? Do we really believe that he is the gift of the Father's love and mercy, that he has the power to heal and transform our lives?

There is no human person in the world who cannot ask God for mercy. No human predicament, no degree of moral and spiritual disgrace, is beyond the reach of God’s mercy.

In fact, God knows all our sins and our sorrows and our deepest need for healing, and he wants to save us. He loves us first, and when we seek him it is because he has already called us, mysteriously, in the depths of our hearts. But he wants us to seek him and "ask" for him, because this is the way we open our hearts to him. He respects our freedom. Indeed, he loves our freedom; he creates and sustains us as persons and wants us to be free. Still, his love is greater than our hearts. He anticipates us, awakens us, draws us, and showers upon us his mercy, not to the demand of our measure and expectations but in response to our recognition that we really need him.

But sometimes, we ask for him and we don't feel like we're getting a response. He seems to delay. Why?

God is good, all the time. If we ask for his mercy and healing with a true desire, he works to change us according to his wisdom and love for us. He is Love. If his "timing" seems slow to us, we know that he wants us to keep asking; he wants us to experience our total need for him, our total dependence on Infinite Love.

Ask, keep asking, and never give up. You shall receive; it is a promise from God. “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matthew 21:22).

"Before Jesus, no sinner is excluded... because the healing power of God knows no infirmity that cannot be healed; and this must give us confidence and open our heart to the Lord, that he may come and heal us" (Pope Francis).