Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 15:22-31; John 15:12-17) In "Peter Pan," the captivating story about coming of age, children are taught a lesson on wish-making. When Tinker Bell, the fairy, comes on scene to grant any worthy wish, the smaller children ask for frivolous things like candy and toys. They seem perplexed when their requests are not honored. Then they catch on. They should seek noble qualities, like happiness and peace. This is the kind of request that Jesus has in mind in the gospel today. Jesus tells his disciples, whom he now regards as friends, that they have developed a new level of consciousness. They will no longer be thinking in the ways of the world; that is, doing what they like and looking out primarily for their own welfare. No, from now on they will pursue the common good and do God's will above all. Christians still may trivialize faith by trying to use it to pursue personal whims. They believe that they could use it to ask that the Cubs win the pennant or for some other frivolous thing. But faith has an infinitely higher purpose. It is to connect us to God so that we might have the fullness of life. We should not restrain from asking God to meet our needs, but our petitions should always be in line with the plan that He has for us. Let us ask for patience to take good care of our children and for courage to face pain and death. Such requests, Jesus assures us, the Father always honors.