“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” This is a promise that anyone would love to hear. With these words Jesus comforts and reassures us. He suggests that we will be satisfied and welcomed and fulfilled. His message in today’s Gospel assures us that our heavenly Father loves us even more than earthly parents love their children. So we can enjoy the security of knowing that God will take good care of us.
But God’s care may not always look exactly the way we expect it to. His care for us is based on knowing what is best for us and what will make us flourish. And, sometimes, what we think we need isn’t really best. It’s important to keep this context in mind. This prevents us from understanding Jesus’ words today in a selfish way. As the end of the passage makes clear, this asking and seeking that Jesus refers to is ultimately fulfilled in the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is promising us that if we ask God for his Spirit, he will certainly give it to us, his children.
For most of us, we actually received this gift at our baptism. But have we taken full advantage of this? Although we may not realize it at first, in receiving the Holy Spirit we actually receive a whole host of gifts. With God’s Spirit come the sevenfold gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. And the fruits of the Spirit as St. Paul lists them in Galatians 5 include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. God knows that all of these gifts and fruits make us very well equipped for life on earth, and for eternal life in heaven! What more do we really need to ask for?