Wanna be a “friend” of Jesus?
Another I AM a Catholic Lesson
by Pat Miron
John.15:14 “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
If we truly what to be a friend of Jesus it seems both reasonable and prudent to ask oneself “what must I do to make it happen”; knowing that it is not all what I do, but very importantly, what Jesus would have me do, and what Jesus will permit me to do, and what Jesus will do for me.
One of the most amazing facts that can be known to mankind, is the fact that Jesus desires to be a “friend of ours”, much more ardently, much more zealously than we seek Him.
Matt.16: 24 “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”
Friendship always demands a price. It has been said that Cf “we are more likely to be ‘hurt’ by our friends than by our casual acquaintances.” This might be because it is normal to spend more time with those we like, and or, we tend to be more open and frank with these personal relationships, or that we just spend more time with our friends and therefore are more likely to mess up?. It’s not unusual for dear friends to be made accountable for the decisions effecting both parties. And so it is with any relationship between us and Jesus. Friends “ask” and perhaps even demand certain things as the conditional price of their friendship.
Jesus, however, seems to have a “strange” way; an unusual condition for “friendship” with Him: Rev.3:19 “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance. “
Jesus shares here a couple of demands on the price of friendship with Him: IF we are going to decide to follow Him” it will be on His terms; His conditions; His teachings in total, It can be no other way.
Lk. 9: 22-25 “Saying: The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the ancients and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise again. And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; for he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, and cast away himself?”
From the examples of Noah, the Egyptian plagues, Sodom and Gomorrah, King David, and the three-time destruction of the Synagogue in Jerusalem, making the Hebrew Nation “a captive state;” of the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Roman’s; and then being called back by God to His Friendship; the example of Peter who denied Christ three times and was forgiven and granted “all of the Key’s to Christ Kingdom” after recanting in deep sorrow and contrition models for us, what Christ demands IF we ARE to be His Friend.
John 21: 7-17 “That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, (for he was naked,) and cast himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the ship, (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus saith to them: Come, and dine. And none of them who were at meat, durst ask him: Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. And Jesus cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish in like manner. This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead. When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. …He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. … He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.”
Luke 12:4-5 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him
From the book: Jesus, King of Love by Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey.
“Sanctity is Jesus assimilated.”
“We are greatly mistaken if we think the value of an act depends on the act itself. It is worth only the love we put into it.”
“There are three loves which really constitute but one, namely: Love of the Eucharist, Love of the Cross and Love of Souls. You cannot separate them, nor can you have one to the exclusion of the others.”
“Opposition has always been and ever will be the divine seal upon all works…Such storms have never ruined a work dear to God, when the thoughts of the apostle were inspired by the great spirit of faith.”
In speaking of many Christians attitude toward Jesus and faith: “Remain in Your Tabernacle, O Lord, that we may live our family life as we wish, without Your intruding too intimately upon it.”
“Love is not loved. We do not sufficiently preach the love of Jesus Christ, and yet this love is not weak sentimentality. It is a love full of fire and life!”
“Call to the Master, hearken to Him and you will witness resurrections even more marvelous than that of Lazarus and conversions as wonderful and touching as that of Magdalen.
[QUOTE]We are chosen by Christ to be His friends! How amazing is that! Being His friend means uniting our suffering in this life to His suffering. It means being different from most. It means being rejected sometimes. It means crucifying our self-will. On the flip side of that, we have assurance of His love, His mercy, His guidance, His strength..I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! (Philippians 4:13) We can go out into the world with such confidence with Jesus as our strength. We must not draw back from our appointment by Christ – to “go and bear fruit that will remain.” This world is so thirsty for Him right now, and the world doesn’t even know it. It is so hungry, yet nothing it eats satisfies. We need to be bold witnesses of our Faith – of the Love of Christ that lives in our hearts! We also need to offer every suffering, every prayer for the conversion of souls! Let not one be lost, Dear Lord! “ [/QUOTE]
Love, even God’s love can be conditional. I MUST be careful here because God NEVER stops loving us, no matter who we are, where we are or what we are or what we have done; or perhaps failed to do. Such is the Love of God. BUT to be a FRIEND of Christ; that is where the conditions pop in. Towards the goal of developing true Friendship with Christ; He choose to found; to establish just His One True Church. Today’s Catholic Church [both historically and biblically provable], with just One Set of Faith beliefs [Ephesians 4:1-7], and to BOND this Friendship; Christ Instituted His Seven Sacraments as a direct means of the Grace man needs to “be holy as I AM Holy”[1 Peter 1:16]; from Known forgiveness of all of our Confessed sins; to Jesus actually being Present to us in Catholic Holy Communion; these gifts are LIGHTS to show us the way to the “Truth, the Way and the Life”: [John 14:16]. Jesus choose to have just One Church with One set of Faith beliefs to simplify man’s options and choices. With “just one” we can know if we are on the right path or not. So do we choose God’s way; or some other path? Do we CHOOSE Friendship with God; or choose to merely muse about it and do “it my way?” Do we REALLY desire Friendship with Christ? It has to be done HIS WAY!