This morning when I got up to go to mass, there was not a soul up in the house other than me. Maybe if I had showered right away in the morning, someone would have awoken before I left. It was interesting, the silence. I kind of liked it, as if I was in a house living on my own being able to move about as I pleased. It some respects it reminds me of being back at the convent. The difference there is you can hear the water running and people walking, but no one talks to each other unless it is really needed.
I was especially struck by the gospel reading today. We did not actually do the prescribed reading and psalm for today, as the lectionary was not set correctly. Father Tony did switch it when he got up to read the gospel. In the “Word Among Us” there is a mediation based on one of the readings/psalms of the day for each day. Today’s focused on the gospel. The gospel reading is John 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.”
The line that struck me was this: “ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” I have always wondered about that line. So many times people do ask, but say they never received what they asked for. I would perhaps challenge them, and even myself, to think about why they are asking and what they are asking for. Maybe God did give them something in response. Then, though, I would ever go for something else.
At first glance it would seem that from that line, we would assume that we would get what ever we asked for and wanted. This stemming from being told we will receive. I feel that perhaps there is something implied that comes something missing that is not said in that line. Try this: ask and you will receive as the Father knows best, so that your joy may be complete. It could be some variation on that too, of course. So maybe we do not receive as we thought we would, but in the end if it is what brings us the greater joy then what more of a response do we want? Is it instant gratification that we look for? This is only good in the short-term perhaps. So, when you are not sure about having received something you asked for, think about the ways it could have come to you that may bring you joy in the future.