February 20, 2013
By Father William Muench
“I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I heard from my father… The command I give you is this, that you love one another.” (John 15:14) At the Last Supper, Jesus tells his apostles of God’s great love for them and his great love for them and that he wants to be their - and our - friend.
The purpose of our spiritual life as Catholics is to cement our friendship with Jesus – to establish a strong relationship with Our Lord and Savior. So, there are times during our Church year - like Lent – for us to dedicate ourselves to doing something to renew our relationship with the Lord.
During Lent, we find time for more prayer, especially by participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass more often. The Mass, after all is our best prayer. In the Mass, we meet Jesus in a very special way – a sacramental way. In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus truly becomes one with us. In this retreat that we call Lent, we take on acts of mortification – “giving up something” – so as to open ourselves to a better relationship with the Lord. Lent is about allowing God to enter our lives as we again recognize God’s great love for us and work to strengthen our relationship with Jesus. This is about divine revelation. We believe that we know God in faith through divine revelation. We believe that God reveals himself to us so that we know all that we need to know about God and how God expects us to live.
The Second Vatican Council dedicated an entire document to revelation – the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum). This document teaches us that divine revelation is more than a collection of facts about God, but rather that God shares his very self with us through our relationship with Jesus. Our approach to revelation in the spirit of the Council is a personalistic approach to God. God comes to us in way we can recognize – person to person – through the person of Jesus. Our approach to God is through Jesus. Jesus sums up all revelation for us.
As Christians, we allow God to be part of our lives through a good relationship with Jesus. Again, I want to remind you that the best way for us to establish that relationship is through our participation in the Mass.
In the Eucharist of the Mass, we truly and sacramentally unite ourselves with the Lord, Jesus. In this sacrament, as we receive the Blessed Eucharist in Holy Communion, Jesus truly becomes one with us, bringing us the love of the Lord and truly increasing our friendship with Our Savior. I often tell people never to leave Jesus in the Church. Rather, allow the Lord to become part of your life in all you do in this world. Through this sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, truly the Lord Jesus is one with us. May we never forget that the Lord wants to be one with us. May our lives show to the world that we are friends of the Lord Jesus.
So, I encourage people to recognize that the best spiritual activity during Lent is frequent attendance at Mass.