Today is the Feast of St. Philip and St. James. They were both Apostles. James was a cousin of the Lord, the son of Alphaeus, and Bishop of Jerusalem. In the first reading today from 1 Corinthians 15, St. Paul talks about how Christ appeared to some after the resurrection. He mentions the Twelve, then mentions James by name.
In the Gospel reading from John 14, Philip says to Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus seems to be a bit perturbed with him, mostly because of his lack of understanding that Jesus and the Father are one. He explains this to Philip, then says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do…If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” Wow!
Many people may have a very basic misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Philip. Let me give you an example – say you ask for the winning lottery numbers. You’re going broke and winning the lotto would solve all your problems. Surely God knows this, right? So you ask for the winning lotto numbers in Jesus’ name. A fervent, heartfelt prayer. Yet, come Sunday morning, no winning ticket. What’s up with that? I mean, you asked in Jesus’ name, didn’t you? Here’s the deal. Jesus cannot do anything apart from the Father’s will. If it is the Father’s will that you win the lotto, then your numbers will come up. You see, God only wants what is best for you. And I promise you that if you ask for only that (thy Kingdom come, thy will be done), Jesus will deliver.
Father, we ask today that we will be open to your will in our lives. May your will be done, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.