The verse before the gospel is a way of preparing our hearts to receive what’s to come in the main course. Today’s edition reads:
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory. Lk 24:46,26
Here we have laid out before us, the sheer immensity of God’s salvific act. The Second Person of the Trinity took on human form for the precise reason of offering Himself as an immolation for our salvation. And it is in Him alone that our life on earth has the potential of reaching the apex of its purpose. He came (for us). He conquered (death). So that we would win (eternal life).
Ask In Christ’s Name
Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Jn 16:23
Which provokes the question: How should we ask? I think the LORD’s teaching prayer shows us how. If our asking builds the kingdom of God, if it leads us to forgive and seek forgiveness from our neighbors, if it leads us and others away from temptation, then our petitions are in conformity with God’s will and not merely to satiate our selfish desires. We can and should ask God for good things, for us and for our near and dear ones, for those difficult relationships with which we daily contend, and most especially for our enemies.
Faith and Joy
Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon s.j. touches on the relationship between joy and faith, saying: Joy is the result of faith. God wants us to be happy not only in the life to come but in this life. He goes on to outline three types of unhappy people: those whose desires are not satisfied, those who are lonely, and those who have nothing to look forward to. Continuing to tap into the well stream of Fr. John’s wisdom: Our faith tells us that there is a future and a glorious future, but we must believe it. And it is in a community of believers that we experience a profound togetherness among believers of which there is no other earthly counterpart.
That Your Joy May Be Complete
Ultimately, our joy reaches its fulfillment in God alone. Our earthly desires are easily apparent. And we spend a goodish part of our life chasing these, for these are clear and present to us. But we are spirits as well. And when our spirit unites with the LORD and with other disciples, there is a powerful bonding and uplifting that is without any parallel that the earth has to offer. Jesus longs for us to long for Him. He reminds the apostles and us:
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
This is His desire. May it be ours as well!
Good job Patrick/Julie, keep ’em coming.