“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
In John 14:6, Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Philip could not grasp the full weight of this statement so he asked: “Lord, show us to the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” In response, Jesus said to Philip: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?” That is to say, Jesus is God and God is Jesus. This is where we got the doctrine of the Trinity; three persons in one same God.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says to us twice: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it… if you ask anything in my name, I will do it…” By saying “I will do it,” Jesus is telling us that He is both God and mediator at the same time. This is not easy to explain but just know that when we pray to God in Jesus’ name, it doesn’t mean that Jesus is in any way less than God. Jesus is God.
St. Paul will throw more light on this when he said: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11). This is why we end our prayers with “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Jesus, the Son of God takes our prayers to God the Father and as one God, Jesus grants our intentions.
You might wonder, is there anything wrong with simply praying with: “In Jesus’ Name?” Simple answer: There are persons who answer the name “Jesus” but there is only one “Jesus Christ.” It is important that we pray “through Jesus Christ, our Lord” so that it will be clear that we are praying to God.
In today’s first reading, Paul meets with stiff opposition from some jealous Jews, and this paved way for Paul to direct his attention to the Gentiles. A few days ago, we read of how Peter saw a trance when God symbolically told him to minister to Gentiles as well. Peter obeyed and was surprised to see that the Holy Spirit came upon them.
Dear friends, if we who claim to know God engage in fighting ourselves as the Jews fought Paul and Barnabas, the Gospel will go to others more deserving of it.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, increase my faith in the power of your name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Acts 13:44-52, Ps. 98:1-4, John 14:7-14).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu