MAY 15. EASTER. Wk 6. Sat. Jn. 16. 23-28
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
anything you ask for from the Father he will grant in my name.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.
I have been telling you all this in metaphors,
the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in metaphors;
but tell you about the Father in plain words.
When that day comes you will ask in my name;
and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you,
because the Father himself loves you for loving me
and believing that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world
and now I leave the world to go to the Father.’
Christ, in this final Gospel before his departure from this earth; - after thirty-three years among us; - now addresses the topic of where he is going to, or more importantly, who he is going to after his Ascension; - the Father; - the one who sent him; - the one he obeyed, and the one who Created and Loves all his people!
And in this reading Christ makes the point, because he is the Son of God; - the one who the Father Loves dearly; - we should direct our Love and our Prayers to the Father, through him; - and he would use his divine relationship with the Father to intercede on our behalf.
This relationship of Christ with the Father, and his role as our intercessor, flows from the fact God the Father “sent him” to be both our redeemer and our teacher, so his role of intercessor, comes from the Father’s decision to redeem his people.
The Church makes this point strongly in every liturgical prayer. Sadly, many priests, when they offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, shorten the words used at the end of the primary prayer, which is addressed to God the Father. It always concludes; - “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever!”
So, our liturgical prayers, where we pray as a Church, and Christ’s Mystical Body, are always addressed to the Father, “through” our Redeemer and Teacher, Jesus Christ, the Son of God; - and because of this we should have great confidence the Father will hear our petitions. ‘I tell you most solemnly, anything you ask for from the Father he will grant in my name!’
Another point made strongly in this reading is there is no need for Christ to pray to the Father for us; - “As the Father himself loves you for loving me and believing I came from God!”
This is a significant point. We are being told the Father’s Love is the primary foundation on which our prayers, and our trust should be based; - so they should be addressed to the Father; - “through” our Redeemer and Teacher, Jesus Christ!
This means we can have great confidence our prayers will be heard; - firstly, because of the Father’s Love; - and secondly, because of the intercession of Christ, our saviour and teacher!
Gospel Acclamation Jn16:28
I went from the Father and came into the world;
and now I leave the world to return to the Father.