Wednesday after Invocavit
Scripture: St. Luke 10:38—11:13 (NKJV)
11:38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
11:1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” 2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Like Martha, we often worry about our daily life today and tomorrow. The flesh still hears the temptation to be “like God” and tries to achieve that through worry, which is nothing more than borrowing tomorrow’s trouble for today. Mary, on the other hand, shows us what the child of God is to be doing: sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing His doctrine, and contemplating it for salvation.
Jesus knows our weakness and our tendency to worry. To help us in our worries and frettings, He teaches us to pray for the things the Lord promises. The sinful flesh feels trapped when it is commanded to pray for those things that God promises. But amazingly enough, everything we truly need is promised to us by our Lord! We need His kingdom of grace to come among us through His Word and Sacraments. We need His will to be done, His good and gracious will of saving faith in our hearts and protection from the devil, world, and ourselves. We need daily, not weekly or monthly or yearly bread, which includes everything we need for this body and life. We need absolution from our sins. We need deliverance in the hour of temptation. We need rescue from every temporal and spiritual evil. Christ promises us all these things so we ought not worry over them, and instead ask God the Father to give us His promised gifts. There is no need to worry. God has promised you everything you need, and will answer your prayer asking for those good things in His good and gracious time.
O Lord, mercifully hear our prayer and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.