2021-05-025th Sunday of EasterRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.

Jesus says: "If you ask, it will be done for you." What does Jesus mean? Many people have said to me over the years, I have prayed for something and God did not answer my prayers. How come?

I think that the first part of the verse is the most important. "If you remain in me.." In other words, you have to be in a good relationship with God.

St. Paul uses "in Christ" 165 times in his letters. For St. Paul to be "in Christ", means that you make the values of Jesus Christ and the objectives of Jesus Christ your own values.

It means that we love with Christ`s love and Christ`s love prompts us to pray for others. Sometimes we say specific prayers for our loves ones but we are disappointed when those prayers are not answered.

Over the years, I have learned that I do not even know what is best for me. Can I know what is best for someone else? We have to believe that God knows what is best for us. Many times it is difficult to believe that some of God`s greatest gifts, I believe, are unanswered prayers. When we get to heaven, I think we will thank God for all of the prayers that God chose not to answer.

All of us have had unpleasant experiences in our lives. All of us have been hurt by other people. Jesus says: "pray for those who hurt you." I have done that and guess what, I have never been dissatisfied. Somehow, when you pray with the mindset of Jesus Christ, your wounds are healed and your mind is much more at peace.

A person who had a near death experience told me that Jesus was surrounded by light and he was also surrounded by light. As Jesus moved closer to him, the two lights blended into one light. He was truly one with Jesus Christ.

Another image that Jesus uses is in today`s Gospel. Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. Jesus is our life source. Without Jesus we cannot survive? We are not alone; we are connected - connected not just to the vine but to the other branches as well.

I believe that the more we live in Jesus Christ and let the thoughts of Jesus become our thoughts, the more we will want and ask for what is most loving - which is always what God wills. There is no doubt in my mind that these prayers will be answered. And for those prayers that are not answered, as we desired, we can say thank you, Lord - you know what is best for me.

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