Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
What does it mean to ask for something in another person’s name? Is it a blank check for whatever I might want? I’m not sure …
Suppose that every day, you and your dad go to the AM-PM mini-mart and get a snack. One day, your dad can’t go with you, and he says, “Go by yourself, and ask for whatever you want in my name.” So you go, and see something you want – a nitrate-tainted mystery-meat weiner (hey, I’m a vegetarian 🙂 – but the store clerk will not give it to you …. why not? Because you stood in the place of your dad, who was gone, and asked for something “in his name” – asked for something he himself would have requested for you …… that weiner wouldn’t make your joy completer.
Maybe asking for something in Jesus’ name means asking for something he would want for you … something that will align you with what God desires for you. But how can doing what someone else wants, even God, make one’s joy complete?
I asked Fr. Marsh once about God’s will and he wrote …
We tend to think of God’s will as a blueprint we can follow or ignore, but it can’t be like that. God’s will has to be as responsive to the moment as ours is. When Ignatius was writing, the whole idea of “will” was rather different than ours … back then, will was the aspect of the soul associated with love and with desire … instead of God’s will, God’s deaire is how I think of it. What is God desiring right now for me?
I think (on my good days) that God’s desire for me is the same thing that I most deeply want for myself … so if I ask for something that sends me in that direction, in J’s name, God may well give it to me and make my joy complete 🙂