Saturday, May 27, 2017

God is not one who is far away, nor is he eager to punish us for our failures. No, He is a Father who loves us more than we could ask to be loved. God, the creator of the universe, the one who made all things out of nothing, loves us. He wants to care for us, share His divine life with us, and bring us to a perfect union with Him for all eternity. We know with our mind that God loves us, but we must also be convinced in our hearts so that we can respond to His great love.

“The child asks of the Father whom he knows. Thus, the essence of Christian prayer is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition. The right way to approach God is to stretch out our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Excerpt from his book “The Cost of Discipleship”

Gospel Text: (JN 16:23B-28)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

"I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures
but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."

As Jesus prepared to leave his disciples and return to the Father, He wrapped up his teachings.  He gave his final lecture.  Jesus removed the figures of speech and summarized his key point one last time before leaving earth.  I see today’s Gospel as John’s notes from Jesus’s final lecture – Jesus tells his disciples – this is important, here is the take home message – don’t forget…

Jesus tells his disciples without veils – I am divine.

We tend to humanize Jesus in many ways.  We think of Jesus as a teacher, carpenter, son, fisherman, and friend.  In his final lesson – Jesus tells his disciples clearly of his divinity.  He tells them he existed in heaven, he came down to earth, and now he returns to heaven.  The take home lesson, the lesson we are supposed to be sure we understand and remember is that Jesus is truly God who for a time became man.

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