I went into a store here in Puerto Quito the other day. As I was waiting to buy a few things, a little boy was mesmerized with some of the candies at the counter. “Please, Mom, please, please, pay the woman, please, Mom, Pleeeaaaase…” So, there it was, not 2 minutes later the woman is taking money out of her pocket and putting it on the counter. Now you know the reason why all the candy and toy companies are very inviting to little kids. They want the parents’ money. They are no dummies. They know the power of asking.
When my sister Lisa was born, she had a problem receiving oxygen in her brain., so her brain was severely damaged. Because of that, she never grew in life, physically, mentally, in consciousness. She required constant care, 24-7, because she couldn’t do anything for herself and she couldn’t communicate. My Mom took care of her for 27 years until my sister died. That’s over 25,000 meals that she fed her, all without a thank-you, without a single smile in return. Where is the compensation?
Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of my mother’s death. Just before she died, she experienced what the doctors called a miraculous recovery from her breast cancer. She got to stay in her own house, be with all her friends, she got to reconcile with old friends and enemies, with extended family that she hadn’t talked to in a so long. She died in her son’s arms, and she even has a church built in her memory here in Ecuador. You know why?
It’s because my sister was asking God. “Please, please, please …. pay her, pay her!” And God reached into His pocket and took out the money and put it on the counter. That’s el poder de pedir. The power of asking.
Jesus in the Gospel says that when we give to people who can’t pay us back, when we give to the poor, the disabled, those in need, we are going to get a payback in the end. There will finally come a day when God reaches into His pocket and puts His money on the table. There will be a day when those who couldn’t pay themselves will show you where their real power lies, a day when we really find out el poder de pedir.
The power of asking.
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Lk 14:12-14)