The WORD in Other Words by Fr Xene Sanchez SVD (Congo, Africa) for Saturday 6th Week of Easter
Why did you not ask? How often did we hear this reproach? Sometimes we miss a very tempting meal because we were ashamed to ask. Nakakahiya naman! It’s a shame to do so. The inhibition to ask because of “shame” is part of our Filipino culture. On the other hand, in Congo, while waiting for the barge to cross the river a woman came to me and said: “Father, is it a sin to ask?” My spontaneous response was: “Of course not Madame, please do, ask”. I found this way of introducing a demand so amusing that I used it several times in our villages. It could provoke a surprise, a laughter and an encouraging response.
You might have noticed how Jesus talked repeatedly about “asking” in his farewell speech. He encouraged his disciples to ask the Father in his name. “Ask, he will give you… you will receive!” The Father loves us so much that he could not refuse. Throughout the Gospel we see many men and women who came to Jesus to ask a favor. Did he ever say no? Very rarely. He did not grant the wish of James and John because they asked for what he could not give. If we love the Father we know what to ask and what not to ask. Salomon, a good example, did not ask God for long life, nor for wealth, nor for vengeance against his enemies. He asked for “a heart that listens” which we commonly translate as “wisdom”.
As we celebrate Easter time we meditate on the words of Jesus when he was about to say goodbye to his disciples. Approaching the feast of the Ascension we hear from Jesus in a few lines the essence of our faith. We therefore believe that Jesus came from the Father and have come into the world. The time has come for him to leave the world and go back to the Father. This we can certainly ask: “Lord when our time comes to leave this world, lead us the way to go back to our Father. Amen” –
Fr. Xene Sanchez, SVD (Kinshasa- Limete)
Source – Bible Diary 2020