Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter

John 16:23-28

The Coming Day


My first day in Kenya, my first mission assignment, was difficult period of transition. It was so hard to adjust to a new situation, environment and culture. In the process I longed for a sense of belongingness while adapting to the lives of the people.

In today’s gospel, Jesus alludes to His departure, His going back to the Father. He knows that the disciples are feeling the pain of separation and transition. Things revealed to them are not yet fully understood. But they are assured by Jesus that the Father loves them because they are His children.

As Christians, we are invited by the Lord to be part of the divine family of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Having experienced being with this family we need also to impart this belongingness to other people. It is not enough to be a member in the divine life without sharing this gift to others. We must make it easier for people to come into the banquet of God’s love. We should not serve as stumbling blocks for others to savor God’s liberating love to humankind. (Fr. Marlone Ramirez, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


In Ghana, Africa, the people have a peculiar way of giving names to every newborn infant. Names are bestowed according to the day when the infant is born. So a baby born on a Friday, Efiada in the vernacular, is called Kofi. One born on a Sunday, Kwasiada, is Kwasi. It is not unusual therefore that when the name Kofi is called out in a room full of Ghanaians, a lot of heads would turn.

The name that you are born with and the name you make later in life, that is, your reputation, identifies you. If you are highly successful in a chosen field, you have made a name; you become a household name. Your name can have access to special privileges. Your comments and recommendations are sought and can spell a big difference.

The name “Jesus” evokes power and consequence. He says in our gospel today: “Whatever you the Father in my name He will give you…ask and you will receive, so that your joy maybe complete.”

Our gospel text has always been synonymous with prayer. It is an exhortation to pray. Through Christ we can approach God anytime, anywhere.. in His name, we have access to God’s overflowing generosity and compassion.

However, it appears at times that our prayers in Jesus’ name are not answered according to what we ask for. We don’t always win a favorable answer. Not getting what we want though does not mean that God never answers prayers. God responds in some other ways.. we pray but we allow God, in all His wisdom, to dispense His grace as He knows best. (Fr. Gerry del Pinado Bible Diary 2004)


A friend from Europe marvelled at the steady mass of Filipino flocking in droves to Baclaran, a phenomenon which reminds him of Poland or Mexico. “Why such a strong devotion to the Mother of perpetual Help?” he asked.  Without trying to be clever by proposing psycho-social theories of Marian cult, I quipped with the often quoted Filipino remarked: because we children of perpetual asking.”

There maybe some truth to the remark but I believe that beneath our “perpetual asking,” our flamboyant devotion to the saints and to Mary lies a deep faith in God who is the source ofv all goodness and who knows all our needs. “Ask and you will receive. Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.”

Experience tells us, however, that not everything we ask of the Father in Jesus’ name will be fulfilled. God does answer our prayers but not necessarily in our own categories, rather in terms of the greater scheme of His Kingdom. That is why we sometimes get a categorical no for an answer or just sacred silence. Genuine prayer, be it adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication, is a communal and personal communion with God whose love permeates our being and transforms our inner selves. When we attune ourselves to God’s tender presence and nearness, we already assume a position of a recipient, open to the gift that enables us to see our petitions in a new light. It may happen that in this spiritual communion the petitions lose their urgency or significance. Prayer can thus be a liberating experience that sets us free from anything that narrows our vision and weighs us down, including our own private agenda. It may also be that new needs, questions and doubts well up from moments of prayer. But immersed in God’s love and trusting in His goodness we can live with our fragmented selves and acclaim with the psalmist: “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Fr. Oliver Quilab, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


One day there was a visitor at home. She was a classmate of my mother in grade school. As a kid then, i would ask for a candy, a toy or a permission to play outside the house or anything just to grab their attention. Yet, like all bosses I suppose, my mother wanted to show her classmate that everything was under control! To pacify me, she would call me calmly and whisper in my tiny ears, saying: “Ply outside with your friends and I will buy you a toy and you will have some cookies later.” Whenever my mother promised something it was good as done because she stood by her words. She never failed to fulfil her promises. In this regard she contributed much to my behavioural growth. As I grew up, I learned to treasure the promises that life keeps pouring on me everyday. It might not be about toys and candies anymore but the toy, peace and satisfaction that lie ahead if i only walk and follow the right track of my life.

Today’s gospel holds the ultimate promise of Christ: “…I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you…so that your joy may be complete.” God promises us joy and peace. Basically the whole message of Easter is that Jesus died on the cross and rose again so that our joy may be complete. This is the fullness of His promises! It is not easy to give a promise because the thing promised represents the person himself. And to those who cannot fulfil their promise for whatever reason we simply say that they have no palabra de honor.

As we approach the end of the Easter season, we ask ourselves: what happened to our self-made promises during Lent? What changed in our lives since that time? We hope and pray that we remain faithful to our promises or we end up as persons without palabra de honor! (Fr. Ganie Ehido, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


May 7, 2016 Saturday

A school chaplain once told me that many students asked him to bless their pens during exams.  They told him, they would more likely pass their tests with divine assistance. He told some of them, “But if you don’t study hard, all the holy water in the church will not help you at all.” However some ignored his logical remark: “Of course, I’m studying for the examinations. But I might get sick or have a memory black-out or experience bad luck.” The chaplain gave up and told me, “Some people use blessed objects as lucky charms or anting-anting, to protect them from misfortune. When they face uncertainty, they resort to prayers and religious rituals to feel secure and banish fear.”

Filipinos are known to be a prayerful people. Inside their houses, they have an altar with a cross, an image of the Sto. Niño, the Virgin Mary or a saint. Going abroad, many bring with them their religious statues, prayer books and rosaries. Though an impressive display of religiosity, the question remains: how do they pray? Do they use prayer like a magic formula? Do they talk to God like Santa Claus and ask him to fulfill their materialistic wishes? Religious icons and paraphernalias assist prayer but dangerous when misused and taken at face value.

Jesus said, “Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” (Jn 16:23) Do we pray  with confidence to our heavenly Father? Jesus assures us that God will hear our prayers. Yet when we ask for God’s blessings, let us not assume that He will always bless us in the way we think He should bless us. Not on our own terms. God will give us what we need, but in a better way and better time than how we imagine it. (Fr. Simon Boiser, SVD | Hamburg, Germany Bible Diary 2016)


Confidence in the Father’s Love

May 16, 2015 (readings)

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Father John Doyle, LC

John 16:23b-28

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Father, help me to confide in you.

  1. Ask and You Shall Receive:As a child I was often bashful to the extreme when dealing with strangers. I remember once my dad asked me to leave a food package at the rectory office as a contribution to the parish food drive for the poor. I was scared stiff. Finally after I got up the courage, I rang the doorbell, dropped the box and ran. At times we can feel the same apprehension and uncertainty before prayer. We are not sure if God will take kindly to “being disturbed” in his care for the universe to listen to our request. Ultimately, we need to remember how much God likes to be asked and to trust that, if what we are asking for is for our good or that of another, God will certainly grant it.
  2. God’s Self-Revelation:Language is a vehicle of communication, and like every means of expressing ideas, it is limited. Speech, however, is really pushed to its limits when it tries to express realities about which humans have no clear conceptualizations. God’s power, his awesome majesty and his very being are far beyond our limited scope of comprehension. Jesus, as true God and true man, becomes the bridge between our human language and God, whom he knows intimately. Jesus uses the most adequate expressions possible for God –– such as Father ––, but he also reminds us that he is speaking in figures. One day he promises to tell us clearly and even introduce us to him. Is this my greatest hope? Would I be ready right now to be introduced to God the Father?
  3. “The Father Himself Loves You” –Our Holy Father, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI, reminds us of the Father’s love: “True, no one has ever seen God as he is. And yet God is not totally invisible to us; he does not remain completely inaccessible. God loved us first, says the Letter of St John, and this love of God has appeared in our midst. He has become visible in as much as he ‘has sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him’ (1 John 4:9). God has made himself visible: in Jesus we are able to see the Father (cf. John 14:9). Indeed, God is visible in a number of ways. In the love-story recounted by the Bible, he comes towards us, he seeks to win our hearts, all the way to the Last Supper, to the piercing of his heart on the cross, to his appearances after the Resurrection and to the great deeds by which, through the activity of the apostles, he guided the nascent Church along its path” (Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est [God Is Love], December 25, 2005).

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you have revealed the immense love the Father has for all people by the ultimate self-giving of your life. Help me never to doubt your love for me. Help me to respond to your love though fidelity to your will and the practice of exquisite charity.

Resolution: I will say a decade of the rosary for missionaries who are preaching God’s love to others.


One Bread, One Body – Reflection for May 16, 2015


“When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home and explained to him God’s new way in greater detail.” –Acts 18:26

The first Christian Pentecost had two parts. The Spirit was poured out on 120 disciples of Jesus in an upper room at 9AM on a Sunday (Acts 1:14, 15; 2:15). Later that day, the Spirit was received by 3,000 people in the streets of Jerusalem (Acts 2:41). Not only does “charity begin at home,” but often Pentecost begins at home, or at least in an upper room. Then it hits the streets, only to return to the home, as those filled with the Spirit devote themselves to the communal life (Acts 2:42).

For example, Pentecost began at home for Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:24ff), and then it was extended to the ends of the earth. Moreover, Pentecost began for Apollos at the home of Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:26). Then Apollos took the gospel in the power of the Spirit to Achaia (Acts 18:27). St. Paul did Pentecost in the opposite direction. He started on the street (Acts 9:3) and continued in the home of Judas on Straight Street (Acts 9:11ff) only to take Pentecost back out into the streets.

Pentecost is home-work and road-work. Receive the Holy Spirit at home and in the streets. Come, Holy Spirit!

PRAYER: Father, make me a bold and loving witness for Jesus everywhere.

PROMISE: “I give you My assurance, whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in My name.” –Jn 16:23

PRAISE: Robert received an outpouring of the Spirit in church. Now he prays in his home-based community that others may receive the Spirit as well.


May 16 2015

Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter

Acts 18: 23-28

Jn 16: 23b- 28

His assurances are everlasting

Today we have a very comforting passage for our reflection. Here Jesus is in a way preparing his disciples for facing the impending troublesome period of their life and ministry. This preparation was necessary so that they may persevere during the times of persecution.

Jesus is not only providing his words of assurance. That is the case of the modern day politician. We hear during the election season a flood of promises and assurances by the politicians. Once they are in power they conveniently forget all those assurances and promises till the next election. They know that the collective memory of the public is very weak and so it is easy to manipulate them. Jesus is not a cheap politician. If he says something he means it. His assurances are everlasting.

Along with his assurance Jesus is promising his intercession before the father. Jesus knew quite well that the disciples would fall on the way if they trust on their ability alone. For perseverance in faith the disciple needs the powerful intercession of Jesus before the Father. That is why he instructs the disciples to ask in his name so that they may receive abundantly. We have to keep in mind that asking in the name of Jesus is not a magical formula or mantra or a mere ritual.

Another thing we have to note here is that we have to pray in accordance with the needs of the kingdom of God. Our asking in prayer is not just for our material welfare and growth. Priorities of the Kingdom of God should be there in our minds when we pray. Heavenly father is not to be thought of as Santa Claus to fulfill our wishes and needs. When we pray we are not to ask according to our fancies and whims. We should allow the Spirit who dwells in us to pray so that we may pray according to the will of the Father. St. Paul tells us: “In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”


IN JESUS’ NAME – “…whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” – John 16:23

Truly, there is power in the mighty name of Jesus! But you have to use it in the right way.

People come to me and ask why their prayers continue to be unanswered when they ask “in Jesus’ name.”

There are reasons to that. Maybe He wants you to wait and grow in patience and faith. Maybe He’s preparing a better and bigger surprise for you. Maybe the answer is already there but you fail to see it.

Or maybe it’s the wrong prayer and using the name of Jesus may even be in vain. I know of people who pray that they will not be caught cheating during an exam, or that the Lord would bless an extramarital affair, or that their enemies meet an accident and die. And yes, they pray this “in Jesus’ name.”

I know God works in mysterious ways and He loves sinners. But I doubt very much if these kinds of prayers are what Jesus meant by “whatever you ask… in my name, it will be granted.”

Let’s give the highest respect to the name of Jesus and use His name with reverence. In Jesus’ name! Alvin Barcelona (

Reflection: Are you praying for good things? By all means pray in Jesus’ name. But are these good things for you and for others?

Dear Jesus, I believe in the power of Your name. Grant me the grace to use it only for Your glory and for the genuine love of others. Amen.


Reflection for May 16, Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 16:23b-28 Reflection:  How does it feel to be left behind by someone that you love and respect? It’s heartbreaking to say the least, as much as possible we don’t want to hear goodbyes. But goodbyes are real and part of life. But why is it that we don’t want to hear goodbyes and we don’t want to be separated from the person that we love? Because goodbyes and separations entails loneliness and sadness.

Perhaps the disciples were also feeling lonely and sad. Just imagine being there in that situation where Jesus was already saying His goodbyes to them. Surely we would be lonely and sad also. But unlike human goodbyes which is often times permanent and leaves us empty. Jesus’ goodbye was not permanent and Jesus goodbye to His disciples did not left His disciples empty.

Jesus assured His disciples that after He left them they could still invoke His name when they pray for something to the Father. And through His name they can have whatever they ask in prayer to the Father.

Everything is possible with Jesus if we have faith in Him. We can have whatever we want to have for as long as we ask Jesus help. The impossible becomes very much possible when we pray to God through Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Reflection for May 7, Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 16:23b-28

Reflection: A young man was asking Jesus to make him rich, so he prayed and asked. After three months of asking and praying the man never received his prayer petitions. He was deeply puzzled why he has not received what he wanted.

Until he had a dream wherein Jesus told him this, “You did not receive what you prayed for because you just relaxed in your house you never exerted effort to realize what you want. So the next day the young man prayed once again and he coupled his prayers with actions and after a period of time he was able to achieve what he was asking from Jesus.

Our petitions for Jesus must not end with our vocal prayers only. We must see to it that we follow it up with actions. For example, we desire something, of course we have to pray and it must not end with our prayers. We must work very hard to realize what we are praying for.

Jesus will generously help us achieve what we want to happen in our lives for as long as we will exert every ounce of effort to have it. In other words it must always be prayers with actions and never prayers alone. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Saturday, May 7, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (YEAR C) – JUAN 16:23B-28. UNSA MAY GIPASABOT SA GIINGON NI HESUS, “BISAN UNSAY INYONG PANGAYOON SA AMAHAN SA AKONG NGALAN IYANG IHATAG KANINYO”? Kini wala magpasabot nga makapangayo kita bisag unsa nga atong gusto basta lamang gamiton nato ang mga pulong “kini among gipangayo sa ngalan ni Hesus, Amen”. Ang pag-ampo “sa ngalan ni Hesus” nagpasabot nga kita mag-ampo sama sa iyang paagi ug kagustohan. Sama kang Hesus, atong himoon ang pag-ampo nga kabahin sa atong kinabuhi. Matag karon ug unya, moduol kita sa Dios sama sa usa ka anak nga mamarayeg sa iyang mapinanggaong Amahan. Ug kon aduna man kitay pangayoon, kadto lamang mga butang nga subay sa Iyang kabubut-on. Adunay nagsulat: “Prayer is not an attempt to force God’s hand. It is a humble acknowledgement of helplessness and dependence on Him.” Posted by Abet Uy


BE HAPPY – “So that your joy may be complete.” – John 16:24

Can I shock you with some solid biblical truth today? Here it is: God wants you to be happy. In fact, He wants your joy to be complete! He even wants you to “ask and you will receive so that your joy may be complete.”

If that didn’t come as a shock to you, congratulations! Many Catholics continue to think and believe that God wants them to suffer and be sad. Yes, millions of people worship a masochist god, a god who takes pleasure in people’s pain.

Of course, there’s sacrifice. After all, Jesus said, “Carry your cross and follow Me.” But sacrifice isn’t an end in itself. It leads to victory and salvation — to real happiness!

As a father, I want my children to learn and practice sacrifice — in their studies, health, spiritual life and relationships. But I want them to sacrifice because of the deeper rewards they get from it. They become wiser, healthier, holier, and more loving.

Here’s a tip: If you want parents to be truly happy, make their children completely joyful.

So you want to make God, your Heavenly Father, truly happy? Then be completely joyful as His most beloved child — and make His other children happy, too! Alvin Barcelona (

Reflection: Rethink your image of God. Can you see a happy God who wants you to be happy?

Dear God, grant me the grace to experience the true joy and happiness You want for me, so that I may share this with others, too.


May 07, 2016


We all have what ophthalmolgists call a “blind spot,” namely, an area of our retina in which vision is not experienced. But many of us have other, non-ocular, blind spots. These are topics about which we are either ignorant or prejudiced.
Apollos, the man mentioned in today’s first reading, was “an eloquent speaker and an authority on the Scriptures,” yet he had a blind spot in his faith: he knew only of John the Baptist’s baptism and not about Jesus’ baptism in the Holy Spirit. This was his Christian blind spot. Fortunately for him, the kind couple Priscilla and Aquila helped him overcome his blind spot.

In this connection we can only admire the manner in which these two interacted with Apollos. First of all they abstained from correcting him openly in public, even though his ignorance was about a point of such central importance. They invited Apollos to their home and, presumably over a tasty meal, very tactfully and gently pointed out his blind spot. This worked perfectly, as we can deduce from the rest of the story.
Tact and gentleness are indispensable when correcting somebody. This is an area in which we should all examine ourselves. Are our corrections acts of love?


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Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205 (2016.05.07


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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