May 4, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 145 which reveals a wonderful secret – how to be a Friend of God:
Pope Francis describes friendship with God in a recent Angelus address:
God is not a distant and anonymous being: God is our refuge, the wellspring of our peace and tranquility. God is the rock of our salvation, to which we can cling with the certainty of not falling; one who clings to God never falls! God is our defence against the evil which is ever lurking. God is a great friend, ally, parent to us, but we do not always realize it. We do not realize that we have a friend, an ally, a parent who loves us, and we prefer to rely on immediate goods that we can touch, on contingent goods, forgetting and at times rejecting the supreme good, which is the love of God. Feeling that God is our Parent, in this epoch of orphanhood, is so important! In this orphaned world…
The early Christians persevered in unfolding this secret as told in Acts today:
After they had proclaimed the good news to that cityActs 14: 21-22
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
In our Gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples before his Ascension. He gives them the secret of hope, peace and encouragement. In that gift, they will stay true friends to him as he is to them:
And now I have told you this before it happens,John 14: 29-31
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.
May we live joyfully as Friends of God, confident of and making known God’s merciful Name by our faith, love, mercy, generosity, and hope.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,Psalm 145: 21
and may all flesh bless God’s holy name forever and ever.
Poetry: I Am – Rainer Maria Rilke
I am, you anxious one. Do you not hear me
rush to claim you with each eager sense?
Now my feelings have found wings, and, circling,
whitely fly about your countenance.
Here my spirit in its dress of stillness
stands before you, — oh, do you not see?
In your glance does not my Maytime prayer
grow to ripeness as upon a tree?
Dreamer, it is I who am your dream.
But would you awake, I am your will,
and master of all splendor, and I grow
to a sphere, like stars poised high and still,
with time’s singular city stretched below.
Music: Friend of God written by Israel Houghton and sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
I am a friend of God I am a friend of God I am a friend of God He calls me friend Who am I that You are mindful of me? That You hear me when I call Is it true that You are thinking of me? How You love me It's amazing Who am I, Lord Who am I that You are mindful of me? That You hear me when I call (is it true O Lord?) Is it true that You are thinking of me? How You love me (it's amazing Jesus) It's amazing (I am a friend of God) I am a friend of God ....(repeated) What a priviledge it is, yeah Who am I that You are mindful of me? That You hear me when I call (is it true, is it true?) Is it true that You are thinking of me? (Oh Lord sometimes I don't understand) How You love me (how You love me Lord?) It's amazing (oh it's so amazing) It's amazing (Lord it's so amazing) It's amazing I am a friend of God
(These phrases are repeated with lots of praise in between.
I hope you feel it too!❤️😇)