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Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.

Reflection byFr. Edward Looney

Today's Gospel: Mark 10:28-31

I bet you have been like James and John in today’s gospel. They said to Jesus, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”

How does Jesus respond? “What do you wish me to do for you?”

This isn’t the only time Jesus asks a question like this. He did so when he encountered the blind man on the side of the road.

These exchanges of Jesus emphasize the importance of our petitionary prayer. I’ve often struggled with the theological notion of petitionary prayer. I had to reconcile how an all-knowing God needs us to tell Him about our needs and requests if He already knows them.

Elsewhere in the Gospels, the evangelists tell us that Jesus knew the thoughts and hearts of those around Him. And even though He knows what James and John are going to ask, He wants them to ask anyway. Then comes the next struggle with petitionary prayer. I asked and God didn’t respond in the way I wanted. For James and John, they ask to sit at the right and left of Jesus in the Kingdom and then Jesus goes on with a rather lengthy explanation.

When it comes to prayers of petition, telling God our needs allows us to give voice to them, but it also is a moment for us to pray that God’s will be done. If you find yourself in a situation wondering if God didn’t listen to your prayers, I’d encourage you to spend some time before the Tabernacle and ask Jesus to reveal to you the meaning behind His will.

God wants us to pray. He wants us to share with Him our needs and concerns. Have confidence that He hears and answers us. May God’s will be done.



How do you respond to Jesus' question to Peter and James: “What do you wish me to do for you?”




Almighty God, I bring to you today all my needs, worries, and concerns. Listen to me now and reveal Your will to me.


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James and John have a request for Jesus and Jesus asks them to share it with Him. We can do the same in our personal prayer.


Copyright 2021 Fr. Edward Looney

Fr. Edward Looney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay in June 2015, and is an internationally recognized Marian theologian, writer, speaker, and radio personality. He is the author of A Heart Like Mary’s, A Rosary Litany, and A Lenten Journey with Mother Mary.