Ps 47:2-3, 8-9, 10
USCCB Podcast of the Readings::
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
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.”
Reflection for Saturday: What does it mean to ask “in the name of Jesus”?
Is it enough to say, “Father, this we ask in the name of Jesus”? Will everything we ask “in the name of Jesus” be granted to us?
No. Not everything we ask, even if we ask in his name, will be granted. Why?
Because prayer is a process. When we have a need, we immediately go to God asking him to help us in that situation, right? How many times do we “run” to God to ask for his immediate help without even taking the time to talk with him about the issue, to express our feelings, and above all, to listen to what he wants to tell us?
Asking “in the name of Jesus” means asking according to his heart and his will. And the only way to know if what we ask is in accordance with his heart and his will, is in prayer – in those moments of daily meeting where two friends (he and I) are in intimate and deep relationship. In those moments we open our hearts to him and surrender all that afflicts us, worries us, saddens us, overwhelms us. By unconditionally submitting everything to him, we receive his comfort, his peace, his guidance. It is in those moments when we are pondering the situation that we receive his counsel. Slowly, trusting in him, we will receive the necessary light to know what to ask and what not to ask, what to expect and what not to expect.
Then and only then, we can raise our prayer to the Father. Then and only then, we will be able to say with confidence: “Father, I ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son, our Lord. Amen!” And we will know with certainty that the Father’s response will be the one we truly need at that particular moment.
Divine guidance is not a complicated business. It is, in reality, simple. It’s always available, and God always speaks in the vernacular — he speaks our language, because he wants us to hear him. Continue reflecting on this with our Wordbyte: How Can You Be Sure What Is God’s Will?
Karen’s story: A Direct Answer to Prayer
By Karen Grzywacz, GNM member
I learned a very important lesson about 28 years ago. I learned that God hears everything that we think and say aloud.
I was raised in the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the church was always a big part of my life. We were discussing the Holy Trinity at bible study one Sunday morning and I asked the question, “When we get to heaven, will we see one Person or three?” Our pastor told me, “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
One morning a couple of weeks later, I awoke early (it was still dark outside) and I remembered that a friend was having surgery that morning. She had a lump in her breast and the doctors felt that it was cancerous. As I prayed for my friend, I sat straight up in bed because a round opening appeared in my bedroom ceiling. I saw a bright blue, sparkly sky. For some reason, I knew that it was the Other Side and the feeling of complete peace swept over me. Immediately following that, I saw what I knew was the Sea of Galilee. On the one shore was a large wooden sailing vessel with three tall masts. I thought to myself: Now what does that mean?
That evening, I called my friend’s husband to see how her surgery had gone. He told me, “Karen, you’ll never believe this, but the tumor was benign. They removed it and Donna will be coming home tomorrow.” I thought to myself: Obviously, God was telling me that Donna was going to be alright. But, what did that ship mean?
A couple of Sundays later, the pastor gave a sermon on all the symbols of the Church that were on the stained glass windows. I must confess, my mind was drifting a bit during his sermon, but all of a sudden, he had my complete attention. I heard him say, “And now we come to the Ship,” and he went on to explain that the Ship was an early symbol of the “Church”. Immediately, I realized that God had answered the question I had posed to the pastor during bible study. The Ship is the Church and the three tall masts are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are in the Church.
Because of this experience, I know for a fact that when we truly seek out the Lord, he will come to us. It is important that we be alert to his guidance. God Bless.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica