On the Saturday before the Ascension, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (16: 23-28) in which Jesus tells the disciples, ‘Anything you ask for from the Father, He will grant in my name’. Fr Paul says, today in the Gospel (like yesterday), we hear Jesus referring to the fact that he is about to leave our world, leave the disciples, and return to the Father. This is to the utter distress of the disciples. They know that Jesus is about to leave them. The loss of Jesus at the Ascension makes the disciples feel that their whole world is falling apart again. It had fallen apart once before when Jesus was arrested and crucified. Now comes this same feeling of their world falling apart. This takes place before Jesus gives them the gift of the Spirit. The Gospel today also talks of how prayers of asking or prayers of intercession are not always answered. At least, not to our eyes, in the most obvious ways. Jesus is reminding us through the disciples that we need to submit ourselves in prayer; to ask for our needs; to ask for the Lord’s intercession in the various areas of our lives; and then obediently wait for the answer, confident that God will answer our prayer in ways that God knows is best for each of us. As Jesus is about to leave us and return to the Father, as Jesus is about to become the most powerful intercessor for our prayers, for our reflection today Fr Paul says we might call to mind those intentions we have, spend some time in prayer, asking Jesus to intercede for us and to answer our prayers in the way God knows best for us.
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