“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (Gospel for May 9th)
I think that this passage is one of the more comforting pieces of the scripture. It’s from John 14. Imagine if you will, hearing these words as a disciple of Jesus having seen first hand the many miracles that Jesus performed. Then hearing “you will do greater.”
“Oh go on!” would have been my response. We often have doubts in our own abilities, even when we hear Jesus say that we will do greater things than even he did!
You see, miracles are not magic tricks. Jesus’ miracles, on the physical level were indeed amazing, but it is the conversion of hearts that always follows the miracle that is a greater result. I often wonder if there were skeptics at the miracles that doubted that Jesus did anything at all, or wondered if they were set up, like the magician who has a “plant” in the audience or a trick deck of cards.
But being skeptical of our own gifts and our own vocations is an even worse matter. It shows that we don’t trust the words that God himself has invited us to believe. Indeed, this passage is good news! But do we buy into that?
When I think of some of the great things that I have accomplished, I’m immediately dampening my efforts. I’m like the kid who throws the no-hitter in the ballgame who praises his teammates for their efforts on the field, but takes no credit himself for a great accomplishment. Being humble is laudable, certainly, but accepting praise for a job well done is also a morally correct position. To do otherwise denigrates the gifts that God has bestowed on you.
Ergo, today, name your gifts and accomplishments. Name all the things you are proud of and simply be grateful for all that you are and all that you’ve done. Praise God for making you…well, YOU!
And so let us pray the words of the Hymn from Night Prayer last night:
Enlighten us, O Blessed Light
And give us rest throughout this night.
O strengthen us, that for your sake,
We all may serve you when we wake.