“Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”

As was the case yesterday, we begin with the last verse of the previous reading (Jn 16:23b-28).  Jesus tells the disciples (and us), with the words above, that we should ask of the Father in Jesus’ name.  Jesus goes on to say that He will be telling them clearly about the Father, from whom Jesus came and to whom He will soon be returning.  This notion of asking and receiving has appeared in these posts before but is worth repeating because the Lord felt it was worth repeating.  The promise of “complete joy” sounds wonderful to us and is desired by any clear thinking person.  But what do we consider joy?  If it is anything that is sinful or immoral, any pleasure we receive from it will certainly be fleeting.  If it is a valid choice but not in God’s plan for us, it will be unsatisfying.  God has put a longing for Him in us.  He also has a plan for each individual.  When we couple this longing with a sincere desire to follow His will, only then will true and (ever)lasting joy be found.  Recall the words of St. Augustine in his Confessions: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”  This does not mean that trials and tribulations will not be part of our lives, though.  They certainly were a part of Jesus’ life and the lives of all of His friends and loved ones.  He even promised/warned those that follow Him will be required to take up their cross daily and follow Him (Mt 16:24).  And don’t forget these jarring words: “I give you My word, there is not one who has given up home, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children or property for Me and for the Gospel who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as many homes, brothers and sisters, mothers, children and property—and persecution besides—and in the age to come, everlasting life” (Mk 10:29-30).  It will be worth it.

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