May 20, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Jesus calls us friends. Just think about that!
Think about what it means to really be a friend.
We might have a little trouble reclaiming the true meaning in today’s culture. After all, in our world, you can be “friends” with thousands of people on Facebook, many of whom you might not even know.
On the other hand, if you have been blessed to have really good friends in your life, consider what created that friendship: love, honesty, acceptance, sacrifice, forgiveness, reverence, trust, fidelity, humor.
This is the kind of relationship to which Jesus invites each one of us – where He is part of us and we of Him..
If we listen to Jesus in today’s Gospel, we’ll see clearly what makes us a Friend of God:
- We love God to the point of laying down our lives.
- We obey God’s command to love unselfishly and inclusively.
- We seek ever to know God more fully.
- We acknowledge God’s love as a blessing and gift, not a right.
- We act on our responsibility to share the love we have received.
Pope Francis has said that the saints are “Friends of God” because they loved with all their hearts. But he stresses that:
“They are like us; they are like each of us: They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived a normal life, with joys and griefs,
struggles and hopes….When they recognized the love of God, they
followed him with all their heart, without conditions and hypocrisies.”
Let’s spend some prayer time in thanksgiving for God’s gift of friendship, asking how we might learn to be an even better friend, to love God even more.
Poetry: Neighbor God – Rainer Maria Rilke
You, neighbor God, if sometimes in the night
I rouse you with loud knocking, I do so
only because I seldom hear you breathe
and know: you are alone.
And should you need a drink, no one is there
to reach it to you, groping in the dark.
Always I hearken. Give but a small sign.
I am quite near.
Between us there is but a narrow wall,
and by sheer chance; for it would take
merely a call from your lips or from mine
to break it down,
and that without a sound.
The wall is builded of your images.
They stand before you hiding you like names.
And when the light within me blazes high
that in my inmost soul I know you by,
the radiance is squandered on their frames.
And then my senses, which too soon grow lame,
exiled from you, must go their homeless ways.
Music: Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel