Friends of God

January 27, 2019 | N W | Comfort, Father Salvador, Hope, Joy, Prayer, Strength, Trust

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 27, 2019 – Year C
Readings: Neh 8:2-4A, 5-6, 8-10 / Ps 19 / 1 Cor 12:12-30 / Lk 1:1-4, 4:14-21
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

It has been said that you know that a person is your friend if you wouldn’t hesitate to call him or her at 2 o’clock in the morning during an emergency. The first part of the gospel today is taken from the beginning of the Gospel of Luke, and the Evangelist addresses his narrative to a man named Theophilus.

The word “Theophilus” means “friend of God,” and this is who we are. In Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus said, “I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from My Father.”

When someone gets a lucky break in life, the people who know him or her sometimes say, “Well, he or she must have a friend in higher places.” The good news is that we have a friend that occupies the highest place in heaven and on earth, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of Lords, and the King of Kings.

At one point, our Lord Jesus said, “In the world, you will have troubles, but be of good cheer, because I have overcome the world.” In the first reading, the Prophet Nehemiah addressed the assembly of God’s people, telling them that rejoicing in the Lord must be their strength.

The men from Holy Name of Mary who attended the Men’s Breakfast group meeting yesterday talked about the sources of their joy. Their comments ranged from being in close communion with nature, being with their grandchildren, listening to music, building things, the smell of a newborn baby, being in the company of their family, looking at the unconditional love in the eyes of their children, and even watching quantum physics on YouTube. So the source of their joy is as varied as the wild grass in the wilderness, but they all agreed that God, who has given us everything that we are and we have, is the source of all joy.

There are quite a number of scientific studies which tell us that the more prayerful a person is, the happier he or she is. This is not surprising because God is the Lord of all hopefulness, and he is the Lord of all joys. The life of cloistered monks attests to this truth, and they are indeed one of the happiest, if not the happiest group of people here on earth. And what do they do? They talk to our Lord, our friend, in prayer 24/7. The first few lines of the old song, “You’ve Got a Friend” says “When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping a hand and nothing is going right, I will be there to brighten up even your darkest night.”

St Luke reminds us in the gospel that we are friends of God, and our friend and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ promised to be with us always, until the end of time.

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