Friday, May 22, 2009

Whatever You Ask

May 23, 2009

Saturday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

On that day you will not question me about anything. 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. John 16:23-24


Lord God, merciful Father, it is hard for us to accept pain, for we know that you have made us for happiness and joy. When suffering challenges us with a provocative "why me?" help us to discover the depth of our inner freedom and love and of all the faith and loyalty of which we are capable, together with, and by the power of, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Carmelites –


Once again, through repetition, Jesus and the disciples continue to drive home the important lesson of prayer in our life. They remind us that these lessons prayer to the Father will be fruitful. It will help us to remain in the Father’s love after Jesus departs.

Recall Luke 11:9-13 when Jesus famously stressed the importance of turning to the Father in prayer with our petitions. "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

This was not an isolated or random lesson. Jesus reinforced it by teaching us to pray by turning to the Father. Plus, we often witness Jesus in prayer praising and thanking the Father such as when he publicly addressed the Father before raising Lazarus from the dead or retreated to the Garden before his arrest.

In today’s readings, Jesus reminds the disciples of those earlier lessons and reinforces his teaching on prayer to the Father as the path toward joy. It is a message which resonates in the work of the apostles and the epistles from Paul’s letters to those of James, John and others.


We have a faith that seeks to change our mourning into laughter in pursuit of complete joy. How will you change your mourning into laughter and make your joy complete?

Sometimes this happens with reunions. This spring, as college graduates march across the stage and into adult life, some of them will be returning closer to home to be with their parents. Also, in the steady flow of troops into and out of the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones, for every tearful goodbye as a unit is mobilized, another unit heads home for the happy reunion with family and friends.

When we are apart from those we love, our joy is not complete. The same holds true for our relationship with God. How can we reunite with the Lord so our joy may be complete? Cursillo encourages us to do so through our piety, study and action.

This weekend, as we celebrate the proverbial beginning of the summer season and Memorial Day, reunite with someone whom you have been apart even if you can only make a phone call or write a letter. Before you head out to the pool or the beach this weekend, head out to Church and reunite with the Lord through the sacrament of Communion.

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