John's writing can be so circular seeming, so repetitive. We hear numerous times today about seeing and not seeing Jesus, about his being with them for a while and then not, about asking anything of God through Jesus' name and it will be granted, about coming persecution and loss and grief that will be turned into joy. Such a great number of seemingly convoluted words today that, at times, make me want to throw my hands up in the air in frustration.
Perhaps that is part of the gift of John's Gospel. Life is complicated and full of frustrations, full of loss and persecution and grief, but also full of joy and happiness and goodness. And it is a struggle. And it is a balancing act. All this Jesus models for us and John writes for us as exhibited in today's Gospel selection. The joy of Easter having culminated after a long Lent and Holy Week journey are also examples of the struggle that John's Gospel can sometimes be for us.
But we are given such wonderful assurance today that we are not alone, even though we don't see Jesus. We are promised that Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of God in my name God will give it to you. Jesus' name is a powerful and reliable friend for us that we are reminded today is gifted to us as we walk through this complicated world.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.