In the name of Jesus
In today's Gospel (John 16:23b-28), our Lord says
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name
he will give you."
That is an exhilarating promise.
For many of us, however, this verse (and others like it) may have seemed to set us up for disappointment, because we thought it was magic: just use his name and - ZAP - it happens... except when it doesn't.
Make no mistake: the holy name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is all-powerful, we need to pray in the name of Jesus, and the Lord is true to his promises.
But this is not magic - it is far greater.
"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."
Praying in the name of Jesus means something far greater than just pronouncing particular syllables: it involves an ever-deepening relationship with God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"Ask and you will receive,
so that your joy may be complete."