Homily 3 May 2012
1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Psalm 19:2-5, John 14:6-14
John describes Philip and Andrew as those apostles who bring the people to Jesus, together with all their questions and needs. In this sense, the apostles intercede and pray for us. Jesus said to them about prayer: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Some of you might say: “I have asked God so many times and did not receive anything. Therefore, Jesus did not say the truth.” When we are confronted with such a difficulty in our faith, the question is: Did we understand the Lord’s words in the right way? We have to understand what it means “to ask in the name of Jesus”.
John writes about this in his first letter: “we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us, and if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.” Thus, to ask in the Lord’s name is to ask him according to his will. No human being may try to change the unchangeable will of God. But we may discern what is God’s will from that which is not God’s will. In the event we come to know God’s will, we have to pray fervently that His will be done. We should ever have great confidence that what we ask in this way is already ours. Though God’s will is unchangeable, He has decided from all eternity to give great spiritual gifts to us. If we ask Him, He will provide for the necessary things of our life. Thus, God wants to enter into a conversation with us from all eternity and we should try to understand what He wants to say to us.
But there is a human attitude that might prevent us from getting into this conversation with God. Many people are not interested in God’s will because they want to have their own will. Every day they pray “Thy will be done” and hope that it will not be done. This is a tremendous lack of faith, an attitude that never enters into a conversation with God and overlooks His providence. These people lack the taste for divine and spiritual gifts because they think only about this world and the things of this world which they want to have. They do not know about God’s gifts and if they knew, they would nevertheless despise them.
If we know this, how should we pray?
At first we should enter into the presence of the Most High whose power is infinite, then we should try to desire what is His will and ask Him with great confidence that His will be done . In many cases, when we do not know what God’s will is, then we have to look at reality as the sign of God’s will. Thus, if our prayers are not heard, this is a sign that it was not God’s will to give us what we asked for. Even in this case you did not ask for something in vain. For you entered into a conversation with your heavenly Father and He told you that you have to change your will in order to live in conformity with His will. Thus you would trust His providence. He governs the world in such a way that everything works for the glory of God.
The more you conform to His will, the more you want what He wants in His eternal love, the holier you will become, and the more you will understand what your heavenly Father says to you.
So let us pray that God’s will be done. This is better for us than anything else we might ask. Amen.