Saturday, May 7, 2016

Reflection: John 16:23b-28

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter – John 16:23b-28

Today Jesus tells his disciples: “Whatever you ask the Father for in my name, God will give to you.”   Now take a moment and think back.   How many times have you asked God for a grace or sign that God was with you?  How many times did you receive a clear sense of God’s presence or grace?  If you are like me, you may come up with very few instances of having a clear sense of God’s presence.  Today, however,  Jesus clearly says: “Whatever you ask of God, if you ask in my name, God will give it to you.”
The core and power of Jesus’ instruction seems to be that we need to ask in Jesus’ name and not just say: “Hey God! Could you help me out?”  Jesus tells us that if we speak God’s name reverently and call upon God from the depths of our hearts, we will receive what we truly need.
Most of the time I think I know what I need.  Perhaps more accurately, I know what I want.  What I may want or desire, however,  may not be the most beneficial gift or grace for me.  There have been many times when I asked God for a specific gift or grace but I did not receive it (at least as I had hoped to experience it).
What does it mean to “ask in Jesus’ name?”  Does it mean simply “dropping Jesus’ name” as you talk with God?  Or does “asking in Jesus’ name” imply a depth of intimacy and trust in Jesus that develops over time in a loving, trusting and committed relationship?
Jesus knows us intimately and Jesus desires that we come to know Him intimately.  Today and every day Jesus invites us into an intimate and loving friendship.  Jesus doesn’t want us to come to Him only when we need something from Him.  Rather, Jesus yearns for us to come to Him simply because we love Him and we desire to be with Him.  This truly is what love and friendship is about!
Do we want a “vending machine God” that automatically dispenses what we desire when we “push a button (say a prayer)?”  Or do we desire an intimate friend who loves us unconditionally and wholeheartedly, a friend who will stay with us no matter how many times we disappoint Him? As always, it is our choice! Today ask yourself: What do I truly desire? Whom do I desire? Only you can answer that question!

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