Praised be Jesus Christ! A friend of mine has a blog that I’ve followed for years and each Friday he posts a song that captures his mood as the work week wanes and the weekend begins. A month ago he posted the song “Perfect Space” by a group called “The Avett Brothers” and it’s worth your time to check it out. Some of the lyrics are downright poignant, especially the following: “I wanna have friends that I can trust, That love me for the man I’ve become not the man that I was.” It’s a song about the lessons we learn in this life and the ways we change that make every life worth living. God knows we all change so much as we pass through this world and one of the discouraging elements is that we don’t all change in the same way or at the same time. This causes tension in relationships that were once a source of support and joy; sadly, some friendships end because whatever once brought us together is no longer sufficient as we slowly drift away from the person we once were. We have many former friends because people change and not always in the same way and at the same time. And this reality makes our faith even more of a gift because it introduces us to a Person who is unchanging. Jesus calls us no longer slaves, but friends – and He truly intends to be the best friend a person could ever ask for in this world. Getting to know Jesus is the single most important decision we make in this life, as friendship with Him changes us in all the right ways. Speaking this way makes us uncomfortable – a seminarian once had a voicemail greeting that I would call and listen to in a mocking fashion because it was all about his love for Jesus and how he wanted to share that with whoever was calling. Needless to say, I lacked the spiritual maturity to be able to admit that a friendship with Jesus was the most valuable reality in this world. The good news is that He wants to be close to you – but He is not yet satisfied with the depth of His friendship with you. No, Jesus wants to truly be the God of our life (He is, but He leaves a lot up to us in terms of how much we trust Him and let Him in). This weekend you’ll hear something about Eucharistic Adoration and how it changes people in good ways. Many people listen to these testimonies and are inclined to think that’s a good idea... for someone else. And that’s where we need the Holy Spirit to change hearts. Jesus wants to be closer to you and give you the grace to accept the life you have as His first gift to you. But the greater gift He is offering is the one we are reluctant to consider – He wants to share your life with you, not just an hour on Sundays. He wants to inspire you with His Holy Spirit when you need new ideas, He wants to give you just the right words when a friend or co-worker is grieving, He is the best listener when you are confused and are trying to work out what to do next. All of this is possible for every human being... Jesus is knocking at the doors of your heart. You can let Him in if you want to, but only you can do this. Nobody else can make this decision for you. Our parish prays for vocations, which is basically a plea to God to open the eyes of our hearts that we might see and accept His will for us. Please consider your prayer life; people who pray little in this life will be sad when they meet God because then they’ll know how much beauty and love they missed by not spending time with Him. And sign up for Eucharistic Adoration. One hour a week in the Adoration chapel will change your life, but only God can convince you of this. In conclusion, Pope Benedict XVI once said, “If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great... Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.” Why not let Jesus be the friend who will love you for the person you’ve become, not the person you once were?
May we learn to trust Jesus through Adoration and His desire to forgive all of our sins!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin