Two of the major themes highlighted by the evangelist Luke throughout his Gospel are prayer and the Holy Spirit. We have both of these present in our reading today. We hear Jesus encouraging us in our prayer to be persistent. I understand that the Greek here tells us to "keep on asking, seeking and knocking." Prayer is not a one time activity but a journey of faith and trust. Don’t let the lack of feelings or results stop you. One of the realities I love about St. Paul of the Cross was his persistence in prayer even when he experienced dryness. He endured into his old age and trusted all the way to the end of his life.
I get many prayer requests from people through my website because of my TV programs. Just yesterday I received a prayer request from someone unemployed, another for a son of theirs who has fallen away and another from a person about to undergo an operation. There are so many situations and a multiplicity of needs that people have. I certainly do intercede for these people daily. I know all of us are praying for our Fr. Jim Thoman recently diagnosed with cancer.
The thrust of this Gospel however, has more to do with intensifying our relationship with God. It was Matthew’s account of "ask, seek and knock" that was crucial in my own conversion at age 19. Luke further clarifies by changing Matthew’s "good things" that God will give us to "the Holy Spirit." What all of us really need is intimacy with God’s Spirit. It is the Spirit who invigorates us with passion, power and peace to live our vocations fully and achieve our potential. Most of all the Holy Spirit gives us what we all desire, a personal relationship with God. I invite you to be persistent and zero in on the person of the Holy Spirit. If you know how to give good things to your friends and family how much more will your Father in heaven pour out his Spirit on you!
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P. is a missionary preacher, author of 12 books and creator of the TV program Live with Passion! airing in many cities. You can learn more about his ministry at: http://www.frcedric.org/