friend in Jesus

A very common word, “friendship”, it is one that we use every day, either in our speech, or in our actions. We expect it. We want it. We seek it out. Do we really know what it is that we are in search of? What are the rules of friendship? What are its boundaries? What makes a really good friendship? And, what makes one that is just “so-so”?

A lot of questions were just asked. And, the questions, themselves, still beg the one, outstanding question: What is Friendship? The Webster Dictionary defines a friend as “one who is attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard”. That pretty much covers it, I think. Because, to have affection or personal regard for someone, you must spend time with that person, know and understand that person, and appreciate their difficulties. In short, you have taken the time to know each other, and have spoken to them about matters that concern both of you. You are on the same wave length. You may not always agree, but respect each other enough to be open to discuss those things that are of consequence to each of you.

Now comes the hard part. Here’s a question for you: “Are you friendly with Johnny ZZZZZZZZ?” A big Question Mark is above your head, right now. “Who is Johnny ZZZZZZZZ?” You are thinking. You cannot be friends with someone you don’t know! We ALL agree on that. To be friends, there must be a relationship of some kind between the two individuals. Where is all this going? We just laid the groundwork for the rest of this thought.

To be friends there must be a relationship, a relationship of trust, regard, affection and a feeling of comfort when together. What is my relationship with Jesus? That is the question each of us must ask ourselves. We cannot fall in love with a person we have simply read about, not real love, anyway. We must form a relationship with Him, just as we do with the people we hang out with. We talk; we meet; we laugh and cry; we trust. The Jesus that we read about in the Bible, the Man/God that healed the sick, raised the dead, preached love to one another, the One who hung on a cross for us, Who rose from the dead…He is the same person with whom we must form a personal, loving relationship. We shy away from the Eucharist, almost as though we believe… but, at times, are not quite sure. He really is present on our altars, in our Eucharist. We should be almost giddy with joy when we walk up the aisle to receive Him. That very same person, who we have read about in the Bible, who forgave us from the cross, who told us that He is the “…way, the truth and the life”, will be with us sacramentally in a few short moments. As you would a friend you meet, ask how He is, tell Him how you really are (you can trust Him), tell Him what you feel that day, tell Him of your love, and then, listen to Him. Listen to the thoughts that well up in your mind. Appreciate the feelings that you have in your heart, at that moment. The joy that God is with you, right then should be overwhelming.

It is not too late to begin forming a relationship with Jesus, the Son of Mary and Joseph. You have pictures of people that you love in your wallet or purse, don’t you? Do you have a picture of Jesus on you right now? Is there a picture of Him, nearby? What works for me, is to make copies of a picture that I like most, which I feel comes closest to how I picture Him. In my work place, in my car, in my bedroom, I have placed these pictures. I always have a picture of my closest, dearest friend around me. What a joy to have Him present throughout the day. What a wonder it is to receive Him at Mass. What a friend He is. Grow in your love for Him. Talk with Him throughout the day. Your relationship will grow. Your friendship will become greater than any friendship you currently have. And you will love Him.