- Sermon 24 -
Fifth Sunday After Easter. The Proper Supplication

t. John XVI, 23: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you."

(March 19, 1872)

This verse, which in the Catholic ecclesiastical year is chosen for this Sunday, tells you how, as a consolation for the loss of My person, I gave My disciples the hope that they, if necessary, would receive from My Father in heaven everything they might ask for. I held out this happy prospect to them because thus they could stay in spiritual contact with Me, for even if I was no longer visible to them, I would still hear their prayers and help to have them fulfilled.
This passage in the Bible is easy to understand, but if you look into it more carefully, you will find it holds something much more profound. In order to explain to you its analogy and interpretation, we must first answer the question: "What actually is supplication?"
As I have already often pointed out, you speak many a word without having any idea at all what it really means. This shows how little you know of the depth, force and might of the word as an expression of a thought. Therefore, I am frequently compelled to draw your attention to the individual words forming a Bible text, so as to gradually lead you to their comprehension. As long as you do not know the analysis of the words and their respective interpretation, a comprehension of even the simplest Bible text is out of the question. Then the Bible, with all the treasure of wisdom it contains, remains incomprehensible for you. If one is satisfied with the superficial literal meaning, this could at most give one or the other some comfort and peace in difficult moments of his earthly life.
Reverting to our text from the Gospel of John, let us first answer the question: What is a supplication? Then let us look at its spiritual significance when it is directed to Me as the omniscient Lord and Creator.
Well, a supplication is the imploration for help from someone mightier and stronger when a person's own strength is insufficient. It is a request for active assistance either for oneself or another being who needs support or help.
What does this imploration prove? It proves one's own impotence; since one cannot command, one is led to supplicate.
If a supplicant comes to someone with a request and refers to some other well-meaning person or friend with the help of whose name or personal intercession he wants to impress the influential person, this proves that the supplicant, by mentioning a name that is dear or agreeable to the third person, hopes to make him more favourably inclined to grant his request.
This will explain to you why I, as Jesus, recommended to My disciples to ask the Father in Heaven in My name and why I promised them in advance that none of their supplications would remain unfulfilled. Thereby I wanted to keep reminding them of their own impotence, of how incapable they were of achieving things by themselves and wanted thus also to keep alive the memory of My activity and life in their midst, because only in this way - with spiritual aspirations - would they evaluate the things of this world correctly and not misinterpret them.
This way of supplication was to bring about a constant growing of faith in Me, Who - although no longer visible - was still always with them spiritually. This helped them to believe in My descent from above and to pass on to others this unshakable faith in guidance by a supreme being as a Creator, Supporter, Lord and Father.
It is obvious that I, as God, did not require their supplications and had known in advance for eons of times what they needed and what was best for them. The sole purpose of supplication was to awaken in them, as well as in people in general, confidence in Me that I am not a God Whose greatness was to make the tiny human being tremble, but that I, although a God and a Supreme Being, am accessible to My children and created beings as a loving Father through a meek approach, through ardent supplication or prayer which can only be granted by a loving Father, and not by a God who is a severe judge.
That I, as Jesus, offered Myself for intercession, saying: "What you shall ask in My name, the Father in Heaven will give you!", was because during My life on earth they had witnessed and understood My love, toleration and patience with the weaknesses of others. This enabled them to have at least a faint idea of the Father Who at all times proves His love to such a son as I was as Jesus. Only in this way could the inaccessible God Jehovah become accessible to them; only in this way did they have the courage to lift their hearts towards Me and only in this way did they gain the confidence that if they prayed in My name or implored Me to grant their supplications, they would be given a favourable hearing.
In this way, the spiritual union that had united Me, as Jesus, with them on the one hand and with My Love, or the Father, on the other hand, was never disturbed.
My disciples confidently went out into the world, taught and preached My Gospel, performed miracles and even sacrificed their own lives because their union with Me, which had continued uninterruptedly, kept drawing them away from the material world and towards the spiritual.
Thus they set an eternal example for the force of faith, of prayer rising towards Me out of a pure heart with only spiritual aspirations expressing in advance gratitude for blessings which My children would have received in any case, even if they had not asked for them.
Behold, My children, all that is at the bottom of the word "supplication". How great is its significance, and how much enjoyment it gives the supplicant's heart! And, as in the world a supplicant is often full of hope that his request will be granted and already lives in happy anticipation, which enhances his confidence in the giver and increases his love, thus spiritually the drawing closer to Me as the Father of all creation is the sole comfort that a just God, Who lovingly embraces everything, is certain to want only what is right and good and, therefore, to fulfill every just supplication.
Thus, there is always a bond between created being and Creator, and it is not based on fear, on crouching before the throne of an almighty, wrathful God and severe judge. No, it is based on the faith and love a dependent child has for its strong protector, its father.
It is love and not fear that keeps the heart in motion and makes it strive with a joyful beat towards the eternal, immutable Father of all created beings. It is the most beautiful bond that exists in nature, the bond of love between a child and its father, for the sake of which everything was created, is preserved and perfected. This is the only bond adequate for a spirit like Me, and the only one that can help a man or created being attain his spiritual nobility.
Therefore, My children, you should understand what it means to "make supplication", to pray, to turn to Me in the name of Jesus. The name "Jesus" comprises My greatest act, My greatest sacrifice which I made out of love for you and all spirits.
Remembering My suffering, you cannot be proud; remembering My love, you cannot hate; and remembering My sacrifice, you cannot be mean; but by invoking My earthly name, you should strive after all these virtues which I personally practised during My life on earth.
Your supplication to Me shall lift you above all that is worldly, shall guide you into My spiritual kingdom where I grant with pleasure what is in a spiritual sense good for the applicant or his fellowman.
If you know what supplication means, if you know whom you must ask, there is still another point to be considered, namely, what you may ask for to have a hope that at least part of it will be granted.
Most people make a mistake in this latter point. Many only make supplication when they are distressed and many others ask for worldly benefits or other unessential things.
From what has preceded this you may understand the real nature of supplication to Me. I must remind you that I have said: "My Kingdom is not of this world!" and "Whoever wants to pray to Me must do so in spirit and in truth!"
These words prove to you that not worldly things are involved and that you show little respect and love if you regard Me like an ordinary judge or monarch to whom applications have simply to be submitted and with whom it is believed to achieve a purpose more easily through a certain intercession.
Look at the world and how much nonsense is asked of Me. How many imagined intercessors are used. If people would only ponder on their own actions, they would have to be ashamed of the way they want to drag down God, the Creator and Lord of Infinity, to insignificant things of worldly life. They do not bear in mind that most evils and misfortunes do not stem from Me, but from man's own attitudes.
If I allow men to do what they like and they thus create for themselves illnesses and accidents from which they could derive some spiritual benefit, why should I prevent what could only serve for their spiritual good? Surely I cannot consider everybody's worldly well-being, but only the main purpose of his life on earth. How could I give My children that which would only be detrimental to them?
Oh you shortsighted and gullible people! You are like children who want at all costs to put their hands in the fire because they have not yet experienced the fact that fire not only gives light, but also burns.
I could tell you of so many things that are prayed for! One wants money, the other health, the third success in his venture, the forth complains that death has caused losses in his family, the fifth wishes to see his children in luxury and a life of pleasure rush headlong towards hell, and so on. But none of them considers that with the granting of the prayer the spiritual welfare of those involved would often considerably suffer. They do not take into account that suffering and misfortune are the corner-stones which form obstacles to the staggering ones when they indulge in worldly activities and tend to completely ignore spiritual progression.
You fathers and mothers desire for your children all the good things, as health, wealth, a long life and a high position in the world. Well, what you wish for, as tiny beings in My creation, would be allowed to Me too, I should also be allowed to educate My children in such a way that they may enjoy in the fullest measure all the good and beautiful things in My creation which I have stored up only for them, that they are spiritually sound, rich in love and can be set over great things close to Me.
Behold, I want the same you yourselves want. The difference consists only in that you humans, in order to become My children, have to go through different schools from the ones you let your children attend. This is where our opinions differ.
Besides, it is only a short period of time during which you are concerned for your children's welfare, whereas I take care that the everlasting future life of My charges becomes one full of bliss and unimagined enjoyments.
Thus you can see that in this point I often have to be unbending and write your silly prayers into the sand to be blown away by the next breeze, whilst My arrangements are written as laws in imperishable stones of eternity. Therefore, consider your supplications well and do not ask Me for the ruin of My children! I have created them for life eternal, as spirits, as angels, and not for a life of pleasure in worldly filth to one day maybe bring Me a defiled soul.
So when you make supplication and ask for My help, bear in Mind that I already know in advance what you will ask for and that you cannot tell Me anything new. Bear in mind that men would never have got into difficulties if it had not been My will to teach them through their own mistakes. Do not forget that your only consolation is your trust in Me. I, too, had trust when in the Garden of Gethsemane, in the face of My greatest suffering which I had to bear as man, I prayed: "Father, let this cup pass from me!" But the cup was not taken away and I had to drain it to the last drop. Remember that I then said: "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt, O Father!" These words with which I willingly submitted to My fate may serve you as your sole guiding-star in your life on earth.
Yes, make supplication in My name, entreat Me from the depth of your heart. Such entreaty will comfort you and give you peace, and with it you have done your duty towards Me. But leave the fulfilling, or otherwise, of your requests to Me.
I see better and farther and cannot grant everything that blind and immature children want. Why? Because as adults you can see clearer and are more sensible. And what small children are in relation to you, you are in relation to Me, even much less.
Therefore, trust in Me! I know how and when to give and how and when to take. My ways are inscrutable, and it often happens that when you shed many tears of sorrow, My spirits and angels rejoice.
I once told My disciples to trust in My ever-loving intentions. The same trust I would like to awaken in you, for without it you cannot progress a single step; you would despair of your fate and end up as atheists. Trust in the thread which safely guides you out of life's labyrinth into the hands of a loving Father Who often is closest to you when He appears most distant.
Make supplication and pray, but do not ask for the impossible, for worldly things. I am spirit and so are you. I can only judge as a spiritual being and you, too, must learn already during your life on earth to give the spiritual precedence over the worldly, material things.
Then, what I once said to My disciples will also apply to you: "Whatsoever you will ask in My name shall be given to you!" Of this you may be sure, especially since I am now repeating My promise. Amen.