I think the Rolling Stones summed up what Jesus is getting at in today’s Gospel: “You can’t always get what you want…you get what you need.” It may feel like I have been given a snake when I asked for a fish, but Jesus reminds us that God is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent. God knows our deepest needs and desires, the seeds that need watering in our hearts, the weeds that need pulled from the gardens of our souls.

God knows that what we really need is him. The answers to our deepest prayers always have the potential to bring us into closer relationship with him, whether or not we receive what we ask for originally.  God is not a genie in a bottle, but he “gives good things to those who ask him.”  Today’s Gospel could read, “Ask and I will be given to you; seek and you will find Me; knock and the door to Me will be opened to you.” What better gift can God give us than himself?

—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.