Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Father John Doyle, LC
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.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.
Petition: Father, help me to confide in you.
1. Ask and You Shall Receive: As a child I was often bashful to the extreme when dealing with strangers. I remember once my dad asked me to leave a food package at the rectory office as a contribution to the parish food drive for the poor. I was scared stiff. Finally, after I got up the courage, I rang the doorbell, dropped the box and ran. At times we can feel the same apprehension and uncertainty before prayer. We are not sure if God will take kindly to “being disturbed” in his care for the universe to listen to our request. Ultimately, we need to remember how much God likes to be asked and to trust that, if what we are asking for is for our good or that of another, God will certainly grant it.
2. God’s Self-Revelation: Language is a vehicle of communication, and like every means of expressing ideas, it is limited. Speech, however, is really pushed to its limits when it tries to express realities about which humans have no clear conceptualizations. God’s power, his awesome majesty and his very being are far beyond our limited scope of comprehension. Jesus, as true God and true man, becomes the bridge between our human language and God, whom he knows intimately. Jesus uses the most adequate expressions possible for God –– such as Father ––, but he also reminds us that he is speaking in figures. One day he promises to tell us clearly and even introduce us to him. Is this my greatest hope? Would I be ready right now to be introduced to God the Father?
3. “The Father Himself Loves You” – Our Holy Father, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, reminds us of the Father’s love: “True, no one has ever seen God as he is. And yet God is not totally invisible to us; he does not remain completely inaccessible. God loved us first, says the Letter of St John, and this love of God has appeared in our midst. He has become visible in as much as he ‘has sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him’ (1 John 4:9). God has made himself visible: in Jesus we are able to see the Father (cf. John 14:9). Indeed, God is visible in a number of ways. In the love-story recounted by the Bible, he comes towards us, he seeks to win our hearts, all the way to the Last Supper, to the piercing of his heart on the cross, to his appearances after the Resurrection and to the great deeds by which, through the activity of the apostles, he guided the nascent Church along its path” (Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est [God Is Love], December 25, 2005).
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you have revealed the immense love the Father has for all people by the ultimate self-giving of your life. Help me never to doubt your love for me. Help me to respond to your love though fidelity to your will and the practice of exquisite charity.
Resolution: I will say a decade of the rosary for missionaries who are preaching God’s love to others.