1 June 2019
Paul came down to Antioch, where he spent a short time before continuing his journey through the Galatian country and then through Phrygia, encouraging all the followers.
An Alexandrian Jew named Apollos now arrived in Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, with a sound knowledge of the scriptures, and yet, though he had been given instruction in the Way of the Lord and preached with great spiritual earnestness and was accurate in all the details he taught about Jesus, he had only experienced the baptism of John. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak boldly in the synagogue, they took an interest in him and gave him further instruction about the Way.
When Apollos thought of crossing over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote asking the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived there he was able by God’s grace to help the believers considerably by the energetic way he refuted the Jews in public and demonstrated from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
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.’
Anything you ask for from the Father He will grant in my name
Last December, I got accepted for a position in a multinational company. I was happy because many candidates were really eyeing that job. It was a huge step for me because I would be shifting to a more technical side of my career. The question is, do I really want it? Did I pray for it? I think what I prayed for was, “Please guide me to the right job…”
I thought it was the job that I asked for because it includes a decent compensation and benefits package. When I prayed for new work, I didn’t mention a ‘specific’ job. I prayed that it would be one that would make me a better person.
I was grateful to God for it. However, when I was about to start, there had been changes with the job description and everything. I asked God, “Why am I facing this challenge?” I wanted to back out. I kept on asking God if it was a test whether I should pursue or not. But I needed that job, because I need to help the family in our finances. I prayed to God to grant me the strength to endure my new work.
I was in a dilemma. Was this God’s way of saying that I can handle this? Or was it God’s way of saying that I should stop?
I kept praying to God about my feelings at work. But it seemed I was unable to find any answers. Or probably maybe because I was not listening. I was so fixated with my feelings that my prayers were one sided and kept on ranting about my problems without prayerfully listening to answers.
The Gospel reminds us that when we pray for our needs, we should also pray to become closer to Jesus. We have this tendency to be prayerful and yet we do not live like Christ.
Why do you think God answers our prayers? There is the saying, “God gives mercy to those who help themselves.” Yes, we have to work hard for our prayers to be answered. But it is not our work alone. It is by the grace of God that we are given so many blessings in this life. And that grace of God is through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
If we deeply know Jesus Christ, then our prayers will be Christ-centred. And if our prayers are in union with Jesus, I have faith that anything we are praying for will be granted by God. Whenever we attend mass, our prayers are in union with Jesus Christ. If you notice, our prayers during mass end with “…through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.”
Let us always include these words in our prayers to know more about Christ so that we can live like Christ.
(Today’s Oxygen by Beryl Baterina)
Prayer: Father God, there are times that we pray for various things we don’t really need. Please teach us how to pray with humility. Teach us to remember that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can overcome all the struggles and challenges we are facing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank you for all graces that we have received. Though unworthy as we are, you continuously shower us with your blessings. Amen.