Jn 16:23-28 Ask In My Name
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
There are so many things I never asked for and yet received. I never asked for life. I never asked to be a man. I never asked to fall in love; to be a Christian; to be a Catholic; to be a priest. I never asked for any of these blessings, and yet, I received them all.
I am sure that if I put my mind to it right this very moment, I could think of so many other things I received and would not necessarily consider them to be a blessing. But I won’t. I won’t because I don’t know. I don’t know if the bad I have seen or the bad I have experienced have not been a blessing in disguise. Time will tell. Eternity will answer it.
Let’s start from a position of humility. That’s a very good place to start. Tony Blair, the former prime minister of England and recent convert to Catholicism, gave a speech a few days ago to a packed audience of over four thousand people on the importance of faith in society. He said something remarkable. As prime minister, he proposed to finish a speech simply with the words, “God bless Britain”. An aide told him disapprovingly: “I just remind you Prime Minister, this is not America.” He said he then abandoned the idea for good.
I am glad the former prime minister was humble enough to admit his mistake and have the courage to speak about it. God forbid, in this day and age, we should trust in something Almighty, All-positive and All-possible. God forbid that we should invoke His sweet name.
Let me repeat a little my thoughts. Let me say, once again: “This shouldn’t be happening in this day and age.” I guess when it comes to England, “God” shouldn’t be happening. But if God had not been, then logically speaking, nothing would have been, not even time. Yet here we are, in time and place. I say logically speaking for the following reasons.
I remember studying in my nuclear physics class that if the gravitational constant (G) or weak force constant (gw) varied from their values by an exceedingly small fraction (higher or lower) – one part in 1050 (.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001) then either the universe would have suffered a catastrophic collapse or would have exploded throughout its expansion, both of which options would have prevented the emergence and development of any life form.
Then I learned that if the gravitational constant, electromagnetism, or the “proton mass relative to the electron mass” varied from their values by only a tiny fraction (higher or lower), then all stars would be either blue giants or red dwarfs (like the vast majority of stars in our universe). Then I found out that if the strong nuclear force constant were higher or lower than its value (15) by only 2%, there would be no hydrogen in the universe, no nuclear fuel or water; no life. If the weak force constant had been slightly smaller or larger than its value, then supernovae explosions would never have occurred. If these explosions had not occurred, there would be no carbon, iron, or earth-like planets.
Fred Hoyle and William Fowler discovered the exceedingly high improbability of oxygen, carbon, helium and beryllium having the precise values to allow for both carbon abundance and carbon bonding (necessary for life). This “anthropic coincidence” was so striking that it caused Hoyle to abandon his atheism.
The odds against all these anthropic coincidences happening randomly is so exceedingly improbable that it could be compared to a monkey sitting in front of a laptop and typing out the entire corpus of Shakespeare perfectly by randomly tapping on the keys.
Logically speaking, one correctly spelled word from our monkey would be possible. But a billion words would be improbable.
God save the world!
Which bring me back to Tony Blair. He had a message for his audience, the world. He said, “A world without faith would be a disaster!” Why? Because Christianity brings humility. And humility is what makes the world peaceful. Humility allows us to ask the best person. Humility allows us to seek the right person. Humility allows us to knock on His door.
“It is what allows us to make progress, it is what keeps us from ideology or thought processes that then treat human beings as if they were secondary to some political purpose. For a long period of time, what people thought was that as society became more developed and as we became more prosperous, that faith would be relegated, that it would become a kind of relic of the past – what kind of ignorant people do but not what civilized, educated people do.”
“I think a world without faith would be a world on the path to tragedy and disaster, I really believe that.”
So do I… It doesn’t take much to see why.
Be humble. Why not ask in His name? Why not speak His name? Why not? What do you have to lose? What could you (and the world) possibly gain?