Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Time to renew our friendship with Jesus

Dec. 13, 2017

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I have often preached about Jesus as he spoke in the Gospels of wanting to be a friend to each one of us. 

Advent is a perfect time for us to renew our friendship with Jesus. Each year Advent is our preparation time for the celebration of Christmas, a spiritual preparation to celebrate the Birth of Jesus, an ideal time to realize how much Jesus wants to be our friend.

We know the Christmas story well; we have heard it often and we have told it often.  Jesus came to our world to be with us. He lived among us, died for us and rose again to new life for us, his brothers and sisters, his friends.
The whole story begins each year with our celebration of Christmas.  During Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Jesus – is a perfect time to strengthen our friendship with Jesus.

To set the tone for this, I would like to share with you a short message from Pope Francis:
“Let the risen Jesus enter your life – welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward.  He will receive you with open arms.  If you have been indifferent, take a risk; you won’t be disappointed.  If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid.  Trust him, be confidant that he is close to you, he is with you, and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.”

Pope Francis asks us if we have kept Jesus at a distance in our lives.  So, who is Jesus for you? Have you made Jesus just a statue? Do you keep Jesus far away from you? Is Jesus just an idea? 

Advent and Christmas remind us that Jesus did become one of us.  We celebrate Jesus’ birth to remember that he was one of us. And this Jesus who lived among us continues to be part of our lives so that he might become our friend.  Have you found this Jesus?  Is Jesus truly your friend?

So, Pope Francis tells us that, if we have pushed Jesus away from us, now is the time to step forward.  We will discover something very special; we will discover the incarnate Jesus who lived in our world among us all.  This is the Jesus who was born at Christmas in Bethlehem.  This is the Jesus that the shepherds found in the stable in the arms of his mother, Mary, ready to take his place in this world of ours.

We now prepare again to remember Bethlehem and renew our relationship with Jesus.

There are so many ways that we can use this time of Advent to put new life into our friendship with Jesus.  I think first of all – and best of all – our participation in the Mass, the celebration of the Blessed Sacrament.
At Mass, Jesus is truly present with us, inviting us to celebrate again and again his life, death and resurrection. 
Through this mighty sacrament Jesus enters our hearts as receive the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion.  Jesus wants to be our friend; Jesus wants to be part of our lives. 

Through this sacrament Jesus comes with us into our world and walks with us each day.  Jesus is a part of all that we do. What greater friend have we than this – the Lord Jesus.

Pope Francis wonders “if we are indifferent” – indifferent to this Jesus who loves us so much that he was willing to come to our world and live a full life as we do, to die as we must.  So, Pope Francis challenges us to “take a risk,” to be unafraid to reach out to Jesus, to allow Jesus to become part of all that we do.

Pope Francis says that “we will not be disappointed.”  Open your hearts in friendship to Jesus. You will find a happiness and joy, you will find peace and strength that will transform your life. 

This is what Christmas joy is all about: our friend, Jesus, was born and now wants to be born in our hearts.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.