Friday, May 23, 2014

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 offers to grant any worthy wish, the tots ask for frivolous things like candy and toys. They seem perplexed when their requests are dismissed. 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, they will not be looking out primarily for their own welfare. No, from now on they will pursue God's will above all.

Some Christians will trivialize faith by praying that their baseball team 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 way to eternal life. Of course, we have to God to meet our real needs, but may our petitions always be in line with His plan 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.