Love and Prayers

Matthew 7:7-12
Est C:12,14-16/ Ps 138:1-3,7-8

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12)

Whatever we seek in prayer,
We are confident we shall find;
Jesus said, trust God our Father,
What we give we’ll receive in kind.

(Jesus said to His disciples),“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, who are sinful, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:7-12)


What does doing good to others (the Golden Rule) have to do with persevering in our prayers? Jesus said, “this sums up the law and the prophets.” Our Lord meant exactly what He said. Persevere in prayer IF you have been doing good to others, because God will surely answer your prayers, if not grant you something even better than what you are praying for. The essence of the ‘law and the prophets’ (or the Old Testament) prefigured the salvation of mankind through our right relationship with Jesus Christ. When our Lord was asked what the greatest of God’s laws was, He said, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The whole Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Mat 22:37-40).

What Jesus is saying here is, if we must pray to God, we should do it with the same perseverance and intensity as we love Him and our neighbor– with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. If we have loved others (especially the poor, the sick, the most vulnerable) in the way that our Lord has taught us in the Gospel, then we have the confidence of knowing that God our Father will favor our pleas with His mercy, just as we have shown mercy to those who needed it. This is simply what we know as the principle of reciprocity, or the Golden Rule. If you have been good to others, God in turn will be good to you.

An acquaintance whose wife was fighting for her life in the intensive care unit of a hospital was himself struggling with his prayers in their private room. He was full of anxiety over the medical expenses, and fear that he would lose his wife. They had never bothered to join a prayer group or Christian community. He could not bring himself to ask or seek prayers from friends or relatives. The pursuit of wealth had always taken precedence over civic concerns or works of charity. Even Sundays and holy days of obligation had given way to golf games or other forms of leisure. How could he knock on the door of a God he had long taken for granted? If only he would realize that our God is a patient, merciful and forgiving Father, and it is never too late to go back to Him through our Lord Jesus, and start all over again.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, because through Your words we have come to understand the Father’s will, which has empowered and motivated us to serve Him in our family, in our workplace and in our community. Thank You for Your love, which in turn has made us love others as well. Amen.

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