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Friday, May 18, 2007

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Pentecost Novena - Day 1
Pope St. John I

Acts 18:9-18
Psalm 47
John 16:20-23

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asking in jesus' name

"I give you My assurance, whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in My name." —John 16:23

At the Last Supper, when Jesus spoke the words above, the apostles had not yet asked for anything in Jesus' name (Jn 16:24). They had asked for plenty of things, such as sitting at Jesus' right and left hand (Mk 10:37), permission to send down fire from heaven on some Samaritans (Lk 9:54), and even for an estimate on how many people would be saved (Lk 13:23). They didn't receive because they asked to satisfy their own desires or curiosity (Jas 4:3), rather than asking for what Jesus wanted to give them, which is the meaning of asking in Jesus' name.

The apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Lk 11:1). This was what Jesus wanted, and so He taught them the greatest prayer, the "Our Father" (Lk 11:2-4). They asked Jesus to increase their faith (Lk 17:5). Jesus also wanted this, and so they received faith great enough to lay down their lives in martyrdom for His name.

To ask in Jesus' name means that we don't ask in our own name, for that prayer is centered on ourselves. If we ask in Jesus' name, our prayer is centered on the glory of His name and the desires of His heart. The Father's heart is set on fathering us and providing for our needs, so we don't have to spend much time asking for what He already plans to give us. This frees us to ask in Jesus' name for the Father's will to be done in the world.

Prayer:  Jesus, on this first day of the Pentecost Novena, I ask for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit for all who read this page.

Promise:  "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you." —Acts 18:9-10

Praise:  In answer to Jesus' Last Supper prayer that "we all be one," Pope St. John I worked to heal the schism between the East and West.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006

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