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Father Muench Says...

Dear Darcy: Jesus is our friend

Sept. 1, 2021

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today I would like to write a letter to my editor, Darcy Fargo. So…

Dear Darcy,
I loved your column last week. My answer to your question, last week’s question is “you, bet.” You asked us, “Is it a healthy relationship.” You brought up the question in regard to making Jesus your friend. Darcy, I love the idea of thinking of our relationship with Jesus as a friendship. I do believe that Jesus wants to be our friend, the friend of all of us.

I want to tell you what happened to me last week at the morning Mass. I was celebrating a daily Mass. It was the Feast of St. Bartholomew, the apostle. I had prepared a short homily for that Mass on the importance of the apostles. They are the very foundation of our Church. I planned to remind the folks that they, as followers of Jesus, should be like the apostles in their daily lives. I believe that as apostles we are called to bring Jesus to our world.

Now, at that Mass, during the reading of the Scriptures, at the Responsorial Psalm, the response caught my attention. “Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.” At that moment, I remembered that all the apostles were more than just followers of Jesus. They were his friends.

So I changed my homily. We can be like the apostles by being friends of Jesus. Darcy, I continue to believe that this is a healthy relationship for us all, so in that homily I shared about our friendship with Jesus.

I want to establish a good relationship with Jesus, who wants to be my friend. St. John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus spoke of this at the Last Supper. He said to his apostles and to us, “This is my commandment, love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you… I have called you friends because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”

Jesus is my friend. I believe this in faith. I have many good friends that have made a huge difference in my life. I have shared and depended on them for their support and guidance. They have kept me on the way of truth and constantly showed me the way. Sadly for me, most of them are now with the Lord. How I miss them. However, they left me with so much wisdom and solid ideas that they come to mind often. I often seek their help in writing this column.

I have been so blessed to have such great friends, and they continue to be part of my life. I know that Jesus is an important part of my community of my friends.

Having Jesus as my friend has led me to change my way of praying. I have noticed this. In fact, when I speak of prayer and speak of prayer to someone in the Sacrament of confession, I urge them to simply talk with Jesus, for Jesus wants to be our friend. I want them to have a good relationship, a good friendship with the Lord. This will help them realize how much the Lord cares about them. They will realize how the Lord is so ready to forgive us of our sins.

Let me add one more thing: I want to reaffirm my faith in Jesus as my God and Savior who lived, died and rose to new life. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I know that Jesus wants to be part of my life. The real presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the presence of Jesus in my life every day is such a magnificent and blessed part of my life as a Catholic. Yet, this Jesus wants to be my friend.

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