(Jn 16, 23-28):
Jesus said to his disciples, «When that day comes you will not ask me anything. Truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my Name, He will give you. So far you have not asked in my Name; ask and receive that your joy may be full. I taught you all this in veiled language, but the time is coming when I shall no longer speak in veiled language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. When that day comes, you will ask in my Name and it will not be for me to ask the Father for you, for the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and you believe that I came from the Father. As I came from the Father and have come into the world, so I am leaving the world and going to the Father».
Though today’s readings are very much Christological and rich in Trinitarian theology, I would like to invite you all to look at these readings in two ways for our practical application.
The first is to discover the divine love which is expressed in Jesus. Only by discovering this divine love that we can understand the depth of divine accompaniment in our personal life. The first Christian community felt deeply this divine accompaniment, particularly during their difficult time. If we do little contemplation of our own difficult time, we too will understand how much God suffered with us and how in discretion He has accompanied us. We too are called to accompany others in their difficult time.
The second point simply flows from the first point. It is by realising this divine love and accompaniment that we present our demands and supplications before the Lord, in the confidence that our Lord will listen our prayers. Jesus is reminding us the need to put our confidence in the providence of the Father through Him and the Father, will surly respond to our demands, through Jesus Christ. However, it is the Holy Spirit who will sanctify us and thus we integrate all our spirituality in to this Trinitarian theology. The unity in our christina life is born from the trinitarian spirituality. Thus we as christians believe that Jesus is from the Father and the Father is in Jesus. If we apply the same in our personal relationship, we will discover how deeply God lives in each and every one of us. Thus our personaly relationship with others have a deep theological meaning and every human encounder is thus transformed into a divine encounter.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Offer prayers in Christ's name, by Cyril of Alexandria, 376-444 A.D.
"He urges the disciples to seek for spiritual gifts and at the same time gives them confidence that, if they ask for them, they will not fail to obtain them. He adds the word Amen, that he might confirm their belief that if they ask the Father for anything they would receive it from him. He would act as their mediator and make known their request and, being one with the Father, grant it. For this is what he means by 'in my name'. For we cannot draw near to God the Father in any other way than through the Son. For it is by him that we have access in the one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:8). It was because of this that he said, 'I am the door. I am the way. No one comes to the Father but by me' (John 10:7; 14:6). For as the Son is God, he being one with the Father provides good things for his sanctified people and is found to be generous of his wealth to us... Let us then offer our prayers in Christ's name. For in this way, the Father will most readily consent to them and grant his graces to those who seek them, that receiving them we may rejoice." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 11.2)
«As I came from the Father (...) so I am leaving the world and going to the Father»
Fr. Xavier ROMERO i Galdeano
(Cervera, Lleida, Spain)
Today, vigil of our Lord's Ascension into Heaven, the Gospel leaves us with some very fond farewell words. Jesus let us share his most precious mystery; God Father is his origin and, at the same time, his destination: «As I came from the Father and have come into the world, so I am leaving the world and going to the Father» (Jn 16:28).
This great Truth of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity should be constantly hammering into our heads: Jesus is really the Son of God: God Father is his origin and God Father is his destination.
For those who claim to know everything on God, but question Jesus' Divine filiation, today's Gospel has an important thing they should remember: “He, who” the Jews name God is who sent Jesus to us; He is, therefore, the Father to those who believe. With this we are clearly told that God can only and truly be known by those who accept Jesus' Father is God.
But Jesus' Divine filiation also reminds us of another important thing for our lives: those baptized into Christ are sons of God through the Holy Spirit. And this hides a most beautiful mystery for us: this adoptive fatherhood by God towards us is different of human adoption insofar it has a true foundation in each one of us, as it implies a new birth. Consequently, he who has been accepted in the great Divine Family is no longer a stranger to it.
This is why in the Mass Collects of the Ascension Day we shall all be reminded that all children must follow the steps of the Son: «Grant us, we pray, almighty God, the gift of a blessed joy and the rejoicing of a burning thanksgiving, for the Ascension into the heavens of Christ, your Son, also is our submission and glory, for where the Head ascended the body hopes to ascend, too». So no Christian should therefore let be left behind, for this is far more important than participating in any marathon race, the finishing line being in Heaven, with the very God!