What a wonderful confluence of readings and feast day! Here in Omaha, we celebrate the feast of the Ascension on its usual Thursday, not Sunday, so at least here and in a few other dioceses we’re observing the feast day of James and Philip in the wake of this other wonderful commemoration.
So, here’s a question: What are we to ask in Jesus’ name? That seems to be a question part of the dialogue with Jesus that Philip provoked. So, what are we to ask in Jesus’ name? Riches, honor, reputation, “stuff”, protection, favors, a parking place, being saved from suffering, winning the lottery, being saved from the limitations of our humanity…?
Just to be clear, that’s all the stuff I basically pray for, when I attend to such matters. You too?
What are we to ask?
Seems to me that we ask to abide in Jesus who abides in the Father.
And whatever comes to us in the wake of that prayer becomes both answer and instrument of our coming to abide in the One.
It is all answer: joy and sorrow, victory and failure, strength and weakness. And at the same time whatever comes to us can become channel, agent, conduit, vehicle, means, and tool for our coming to dwell fully in God.
St. Paul said, “What can keep us from the love of God?” Here, it seems to be, “What can keep us from dwelling in Jesus, who abides in the heart of God?”
It’s all easier said than done. Yet, it seems to me that this discussion at least might focus that simple and beautiful desire to dwell in God. Perhaps that is enough today.
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