In both passages, there is something undeniably and deeply mystical in what Jesus reveals about His relationship with the Father that has great relevance for our recovery. Before I admitted and accepted my utter powerlessness over my life and addictions, I was like one who had not authentically “asked anything in [His] name.” Swamped in my pride, self-pity, wrath, sloth, resentments, and distrust, I was hopelessly drowning in a flood of remorseless and unredeemable suffering—the very definition of hell and insanity—because I could not or would not bring myself to total surrender “in [Jesus’] name.” I was on the road to physical and spiritual death.
But as we learn from the start with Step One in recovery, total surrender to our Higher Power is the only way to sanity and salvation. We must give our lives daily to Christ Jesus who is “the way and the truth and the life” through the Twelve Steps, the sacraments, sponsorship, prayer, and the fellowship of CIR and recovery. Jesus’ pronouncement of “whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you” is a call to self-renunciation and complete abandonment through His divine mercy and the Holy Spirit to the will of the Father. It is quite literally the antithesis of everything I thought and did in my self-centered, disordered, and addicted life.
And what does Christ promise us when we live this way, when we walk the walk of honesty, openness, and a willingness to face our deepest fears? When we make and live amends with those we have harmed and truly die to self? Well, as He tells us in today’s reading, that we will know the Father and our joy will be complete. What an amazing, wonderful, and hopeful promise!
- How have you come to know the love of the Father through Jesus in your recovery?
- Ponder for a moment what the love of the Father truly means to you. What is your response to God who made you uniquely and purposefully and who loves you beyond your wildest imagination?
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading: Acts 18:23-28
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 47:2-3, 8-9, 10
Gospel: John 16:23b-28
Reflection by Peter S.