Memory of the Church

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Memory of Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of the Lord who "was waiting for the kingdom of God."

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 7, 7-12

'Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread?

Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish?

If you, then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

'So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

After giving us the Our Father, Jesus once again insists on the effectiveness of prayer. He is quite explicit, saying: "Ask, and it will be given you." Jesus knows that it is easy to be sidetracked by doubt and uncertainty. And he urges us not to have any doubts about the Lord and his love. We are his children and, like a Father, he is attentive to our prayer. To help us better understand this teaching, he illustrates it with an easily-understandable image: can a father remain deaf to the pleas of his children? Perhaps because he sees the incredulous faces of his disciples, Jesus repeats himself in order to drive away all uncertainty: "For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds." It is important to note that this conviction is not based on the quality of our prayer (which is obviously necessary), but on the goodness and the limitless mercy of God. Jesus continues to present God as an affectionate father, who obviously can only give good things to his children. Jesus says: if earthly fathers do not give stones instead of bread, how much more will the heavenly Father - who is truly good - take care of and protect his children! The Gospel passage ends with a directive - called the "golden rule" - which is also present in other religious traditions. "In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you." Lived out by Jesus, these words take on the newness of a limitless love: Jesus gave his love and asked for nothing in return. This is the golden rule of daily life.