Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

May 5, 2012

Matthew Eusterman

4th Year Dental Student

Acts 13:44-52
Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
Jn 14:7-14

“And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." -John 14:13-14

If someone is labeled as being “confident,” it may be logical to qualify this personal characteristic with the question “what is he confident in?”  If the answer is “himself alone,” then for the Christian life this kind of confidence can be worrisome.  Oftentimes, I find that I reduce the quality of confidence to that of unbridled ego or pride, the “himself alone” kind.  Maybe it is because of the cliché stereotypes of the cocky, confident jock who thinks he’s better than everyone else.  When I was asked by my parish priest to approach our Lord with utter confidence, I was forced to redefine my perception of this quality.

In today’s Gospel reading according to St. John, we find a very interesting promise made by Jesus toward the end of the reading.   “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." (Jn 14:13-14)  I admit it; when I first read this verse I thought, “Now Lord, you don’t mean ‘anything’?!  Can I have chocolate?!  Will you finish my homework for me?!”  If we reduce this offer of our Lord to the superficiality of our momentary appetites, then yes this promise seems absurd.  However, Jesus did not suffer through the horrors of the crucifixion and conquer death with his glorious resurrection just to promise us chocolate and reduction in our study load; rather, what he offers us is an intimate relationship with the Father- he offers us salvation.

Jesus is pleading for our confidence.  He wants our absolute dependence on him alone.  Scripture is ripe with beautiful portrayals of his overwhelming desire for our confidence.  Let us consider spending some time today entering into a more confident relationship with our Lord by recalling the following interactions of Jesus and those who are completely confident in his divine power to make all things new:  the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:22-28), and the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13).  These examples of confidence in our Lord can be contrasted to what Jesus laments the most, namely, a lack of confidence in his power as God the Son (see the examples of the Apostles: Mt. 8:23-27, Mt. 14:24-31).  The Apostles, like us, struggled with confidence; but with the grace given by Jesus in his resurrection, they were able to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth and become martyrs of confidence for the Kingdom of God.  Let us have confidence in him today!  May we go before our Lord with complete confidence in his love.  What simple, yet powerful, significance the prayer of St. Faustina has now, “Jesus I trust in you!”

I would like to finish with a quote from a phenomenal book that I have been reading lately about having confidence in our Lord.  Much of this reflection was derived from the spiritual guidance of this book and the changes the Lord is making in my own heart.  The book is called I Believe in Love by Father Jean C.J. d’Elbée:

“We have been trained in the habit of looking at our dark side, our ugliness, and not at the purifying Sun, Light of Light, which He is, who changes the dust that we are into pure gold.  We think about examining ourselves, yet we do not think, before the examination, during the examination, and after the examination, to plunge ourselves, with all our miseries, into the consuming and transforming furnace of His Heart, which is open to us through a single humble act of confidence.”

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