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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus exhorts us to pray with expectant faith: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” Invoking the name of Jesus is an effective way to monitor the quality and to shape the content of our prayer.

When we pray “through Christ our Lord,” we are assuming the stance and attitude of Jesus, aligning ourselves to him, compelling ourselves to desire what he desires. Accordingly, it is altogether consistent to pray in the name of Jesus for peace, for justice, for the forgiveness of our enemies, for greater faith, or for the health of those we love.

Those are all goods that Jesus would want. But how anomalous it would be to pray for vengeance against our enemies in Jesus’ name, or for a Maserati through Christ our Lord!