Readings:

Acts 18: 23-28
John 16: 23-28

Reflection:

In the reading from Acts we meet Paul on his travels and also some of the early disciples and we can see how those who had come to believe in Jesus felt compelled to share this news. They encouraged one another and they made journeys across national and cultural borders and the message of Jesus spread. In Acts we see how important encouragement is as a characteristic of the early followers of Jesus and it is still a very important quality for the building of community. I am sure we all have memories of people who have encouraged us on our journey and how those people helped us to grow. We give thanks for the encouragers in our lives and let us pay it forward as opportunities arise.

Our Gospel today from John has Jesus speaking of himself as our way to the Father’s heart. He says ‘I tell you solemnly, anything you ask for from the Father, he will grant in my name.’ Later he says ‘when the day comes you will ask in my name.’ What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name? I imagine it could mean that what we ask of the Father has to be in accord with the values and options for which Jesus lived and died. What we do know through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is that the Father loves us and desires what will nurture us into fullness of life and joy that is complete. We are encouraged to realise our relationship with Jesus takes us into a deeper relationship with our God with prayer being the language of that relationship. We also know that takes many forms and changes as we go through life.

I believe that in these times we must work and pray for healing and peace for our world. My friend, the late Daniel O’Leary put it this way.

‘We believe that a divine healing power is already moving within each of us and within all creation. Once this is taken seriously by the Churches and by ourselves, then our efforts for peace and equality, for justice and joy will spread like wildfire.’

May our prayer in Jesus’ name set us and our world on a journey of healing so that we can see his goodness spread like ‘wildfire’. We pray too that someone will be encouraged through meeting us today, by text, by e-mail, by phone or in person.

Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,
Melbourne