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Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Scriptural Readings: Acts 18:23-28; Psalms 47:2-3, 8-9, 10; John 16:23b-28

My dear encountered couples:

Today Jesus tells his disciples: “Whatever you ask the Father for in my name, God will give to you.” Now: think back. How many times have you asked God for a grace, a sign or a sense of Jesus’ presence with you? How many times did you receive a clear sense of God’s presence, grace, or the gift you asked for? Yet, today Jesus clearly says: “Whatever you ask God for, if you ask in the name of Jesus, God will give to you.” What does it mean then to “ask in Jesus’ name?” Does it mean simply “dropping Jesus’ name” as you talk with God? Or does “asking in Jesus’ name” imply a depth of intimacy and trust that develops over time in a serious, loving, trusting, and committed relationship?

How do we approach our Father with this confidence, especially in this time of unsettling, disturbing and challenging circumstances? Some of us have experienced the loss of loved ones. Some are living in the midst of hot spots that are frightening. Others of us are at high risk because of age or other health issues.

This is a time to turn to our Lord and ask him to offer us peace and trust and to align our hearts with his. He will help us shape desires to bring to our Father. We can certainly pray, “Take away everything bad.” The closer we come to the heart of Jesus the closer desires will come to a prayer that begs, “Give me courage and hope in your love and care for me, whatever happens.” We can even pray, “I place my life and the lives of my loved ones, and the most vulnerable around us, in your most loving hands, dear Father.” We can ask, “Loving Father, let me know you are always with us on this journey.”

The results are real whenever we ask the very things our Father deeply desires to give us. We can even ask, “Let me grow in greater compassion for those who suffer, and greater generosity in reaching out, comforting, and serving those I can help at this time.” It is easy to discern that these prayers are in Jesus' name.

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