”You may ask what you will and you will get it,” Surely this can’t be true!
Yes, it is true – but you must keep the sentence in it’s proper setting, or you risk turning it into a “prosperity gospel”! In the sentence immediately preceding this one above, Jesus told his disciples that he chose them to “go forth and bear fruit.” So, in this context we are talking about mission work; about continuing the mission of Jesus. By benefit of (and empowered by) our Baptism and Confirmation, we are called to spread the Good News – to participate in the mission of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Notice, one of the dismissal directives at the end of Mass is, “Go, and proclaim the Gospel of the Lord.”
Jesus is making the promise that every gift you need to continue this mission will indeed be given to you. In fact, attempts at fulfilling our mission will fail if we don’t first ask for the Lord’s help. We’re now talking about spiritual gifts, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gifts needed to build up the Body of Christ. So, a request for a Lexus or a Mercedes wouldn’t fall under the umbrella of that mission-oriented promise of Jesus.
This insight also keeps us from giving in to fear, because we realise that we are not depending upon our own power and our own resources. Instead, we remain centred in and connected to the Vine (last week’s Gospel reading). Normally, our mission is not to leave for some far-off place to spread the Good News (to evangelise). However, our mission area is our neighbourhood, workplace, school and home. This is where we spread the Good News of the love and mercy of Christ, which he fully revealed by laying down his own life for our redemption!
You see, God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. For this reason, the Church takes care not to neglect the mission she has received to ensure that all who can be baptised are ‘reborn of water and the Spirit’, and whatever we ask for that helps in transforming us and others into the image of Jesus, will be given to us.