Bible Text: “I do not call you servants any longer but I have called you friends”.
John 15. 12-17
Jesus is presenting His disciples a new concept of religion. Before, people acknowledged God as a Supreme Being vested with power and authority while creatures on earth are just mere servants. God is powerful that He has the power to reward those who are submissive to His law and destroy anybody who would disregard his whim. He is a god who just sits on the thrown watching people from a distance that any moment judge who is naughty and who’s nice. In other words, God is very far from the life of humans. He has no idea at all about our daily struggles. However in the gospel, Jesus would like to bring God closer to us. His power is not meant to destroy but to recreate us. His authority is all about mercy and compassion. He would like us to act not out of fear but out of joy. This is the very reason why Jesus calls each one of us as friend.
Let me give you at least three characteristics on how to build our friendship with Jesus Christ. First is authenticity. Jesus Christ is God who knows everything about us. He knows our weaknesses, limitations and strength. To be authentic is to be transparent at all times. We have to tell Him exactly our feelings. Tell Him when you’re happy, when you’re sad; be honest when you have done something wrong, be bold when you are anxious. Do not be afraid to tell Him who you are because it is only in manifesting our real self that we can experience freedom in life for the truth will set us free. Keep in mind that by revealing who we are, Jesus our friend will not judge us but will accept who we are and help us change the things we could hardly change. Second, missed if absent. Friendship is nourished and strengthened by constant communication. The day is incomplete if we did not talk to our friend. We cannot let the day pass without connecting to Him. Here comes the importance of prayer. It is a loving conversation between God and us. Dialogue keeps that connection stable. We see prayer more than an obligation but an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Him. Third, Jesus friendship is irreplaceable. He is the best among friends that we can ever have in life. The gift that He gives cannot be given by others. He is beyond comparison because He gives us life, joy peace and happiness.
Today we are celebrating the feast of Isidore the Farmer. His life is very simple. God occupies the first priority in His life. He was habitually in the chapel to pray before he would start working in the field, to visit his friend Jesus. There was a time when he was totally absorbed in prayer and forgot his duty to his landowner. However, his fellow workers discovered an angel ploughing the field for the humble saint. This is what friendship with Jesus can do to us.