Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. (cf. Lk 6:45)
This idea of asking God for whatever we want is an inviting one. In fact, Jesus invites us explicitly, "Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you" (Jn 16:16). This invitation is recorded not just here in the verse from John's Gospel, but elsewhere in the New Testament. We must recognize Jesus presents a key in his message for our understanding of whatever it is we ask from God. He tells us, "Whatever you ask ... in my name...." It is from this interpretive key that we unlock the mystery of prayer, especially prayers of petition to God the Father. It is in and through Jesus that we find what we seek. It is when we conform ourselves to Christ, aligning our intentions and petitions with Jesus - as often said in Catholic prayer, "through Christ, Our Lord" - that we come closer to the mystery of God the Father, through God the Son. Jesus invites us then to whatever we ask, we do so in His name; whereby we conform our will to His will, humbly accepting the outcome from the Father as Jesus does in his being, in the very essence of who Jesus is. In His agony, on the night he was betrayed, in the Garden of Gethsemane, we have a glimpse of what Jesus means when he says, "Whatever you ask the Father in my name." For it was in that very garden that Jesus asks, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39). In our prayers of petition, whatever we ask God the Father, let us ask for God's will to be done in our own lives, through Jesus. It is when we conform our will to His will that we will receive every blessing from God that is meant uniquely for each one of us, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Peace be with you! From the Author, My Daily Bread: A Reason2bCatholic blog
LISTEN: The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. (Jn 16:27)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 16:23b-28
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
“I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus gives us this assurance about answered prayer: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
If God cannot change, what is the point of asking him for anything? And if God is omniscient, what is the point of telling him what you need? The same Jesus who told us to ask and ask again also informed us that God “knows what you need before you ask him.”
One way to shed light on this problem is to refer to the biblical master-metaphor for God—namely, the parent. Parents hear petitions from their children constantly, persistent requests for things, some good and some quite bad—and decent parents know what their child needs long before she asks for it.
God indeed knows everything about everything and so obviously is aware of what we need before we ask; yet still, like a good parent, he delights in hearing our requests—and like a good parent, he does not always respond the way we would like him to.
As published at Daily Gospel Reflections by Bishop Robert Barron, Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter, May 23, 2020
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.