And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’
I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Every little girl (and most dads) know the story of Cinderella. The orphaned daughter of a nobleman, Cinderella was forced to live amongst the ashes in the mansion that was rightfully hers. Then one night a miracle occurred, and the little girl in the ashes was transformed into a princess fit for the son of the king. The miracle of Cinderella is not the pumpkin carriage, the beautiful ball gown, or even the crystal slippers. The true miracle that night is the transformation of spirit in one girl’s life. For that evening, Cinderella realized her true self – and claimed her inheritance as the child of a nobleman.
We all face the challenge of Cinderella: to look up from the ashes of our old life and fully embrace our true identity in Christ. Only as we begin to grasp that we are loved by a Father who wants to give us all good things can we embrace our own unique personhood and become a member of his church, a bride fit for a king.
This day, pause and reflect: am I stepping out of the ashes and into my inheritance? In what way am I embracing the idea that God is my father, and that he wants to give me all good things?
—Howard Craig is the director of advancement for the Midwest Jesuits. He and his wife Cheryl have five daughters, six grandkids, and two dogs.
From all eternity, O Lord, you planned my very existence and my destiny. You wrapped me in your love in baptism and gave me the faith to lead me to an eternal life of happiness with you. You have showered me with your graces and you have been always ready with your mercy and forgiveness when I have fallen.
Now I beg you for the light I so earnestly need that I may find the way of life in which lies the best fulfillment of your will. Whatever state this may be, give me the grace necessary to embrace it with love of your holy will. I offer myself to you now, trusting in your wisdom and love to direct me in working out my salvation and in helping others to know and come close to you, so that I may find my reward in union with you for ever and ever. Amen.
—From Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009