Easter Week 4: Saturday

“If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14)

Saint Augustine of Hippo offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

““Whatever you shall ask.” Then why do we often see believers asking and not receiving? Perhaps it is that they do not ask correctly. When a person would make a bad use of what he asks for, God in his mercy does not grant him it. It is even more the case that if someone asks what would, if answered, only tend to his injury, there is surely greater cause to fear, in case what God could not withhold with kindness, he should give in his anger. Still if God even in kindness often refuses the requests of believers, how are we to understand “Whatever you shall ask in my name, I will do?” Was this said to the apostles only? No. He says above, “He who believes in me, the works that I do he shall do also.” And if we go to the lives of the apostles themselves, we shall find that he who labored more than them all prayed that the messenger of Satan might depart from him but was not granted his request. Wake up then, believer, and note what is stated here: “In my name.” That [name] is Christ Jesus. Christ signifies King, Jesus signifies Savior. Therefore whatever we ask for that would hinder our salvation, we do not ask in our Savior’s name, and yet he is our Savior not only when he does what we ask but also when he does not. When he sees us ask anything to the disadvantage of our salvation, he shows himself our Savior by not doing it. The physician knows whether what the sick person asks for is to the advantage or disadvantage of his health. And [the physician] does not allow what would be harmful to him, though the sick person himself desires it. But the physician looks to his final cure. And some things we may even ask in his name, and he will not grant them to us at the time, though he will some time. What we ask for is deferred, not denied. He adds, “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” The Son does not do anything without the Father, inasmuch as he does it in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son, for the Father and Son are one.” (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 73)

Easter Collect
O God, who in the celebration of Easter
graciously give to the world
the healing of heavenly remedies,
show benevolence to your Church,
that our present observance
may benefit us for eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!