There is a belief that if you share your dream with others, and remind yourself and others of the desires you have for your life, they will come true. Books have been written about people who focus on a financial goal, or a career goal, and believe that it will come to pass, and it does.In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus suggests that sharing with others can be a powerful experience. “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father,” Jesus tells his followers. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."Jesus says that when we share a goal with others and pray for its fulfillment, God will grant the request and Jesus will be there with us. Maybe Jesus knows how difficult it is to get two people to agree on anything, let alone pray together for a wish to come true; if two people agree on something, it must be God’s will! Or maybe the process of prayer with another person — of genuinely connecting with God — refines our desires and aligns our intentions with God’s. I’m not sure. I know I’ve prayed for a lot of things, alone and with others, that haven’t come to pass. Was that because I wasn’t very genuine in my prayers, or that I just wasn’t able to see the answers because I had a very narrow view of what the outcome should be? Somehow, it seems unlikely that God could be so mechanically predictable to be obligated to answer any wish from two people asking for it together.Jesus tells us that he is present when we gather together; in other words, we are closer to him when we are connected to other believers than when we are acting alone.Jesus says that when two or more of us gather in his name, he is there. That is a rich promise and a rich challenge. We tend to want to live our lives on our own terms, and are socially trained to be independent and self-sufficient. Jesus tells us that he is present when we gather together; in other words, we are closer to him when we are connected to other believers than when we are acting alone. Perhaps this is because community forces a kind of honesty and accountability that we don’t always have (or want) in our activities and relationships. In today’s second reading, St. Paul reminds us that the summation of God’s law is contained in the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This command seems to have a sort of elegant simplicity to it, yet it seems to me that it is virtually impossible to obey. I love myself an awful lot, in the sense that I work very hard to take care of my own needs. The idea of working just as hard for the good of others is daunting. The common theme, though, is that it is in community that we find God. It is in loving service and shared commitment that we grow nearer to God and align our lives with God’s will. Maybe that is how sharing a dream, honestly with ourselves and others, makes it more likely that the dream will come true.Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at [email protected].