Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
THURSDAY, June 10th Mt. 5: 20-26 “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
- Today’s Gospel calls for conversion of heart—conversion from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. We may know what Christ is asking of us, but are we able to do it?
- Yesterday we suggested there are two essential practices that facilitate conversion of heart. The first was covered in yesterday’s meditation—our firm commitment to the Daily Examen Prayer, with Fr. Ed’s full exposition of why to do it, how to do it, and the fruit derived therefrom.
- Today’s Meditation is focused on the second essential practice and that is entering into a deep and abiding Friendship with Christ Jesus! Friendship with Jesus is the reason we do our Daily Examen Prayer—to avoid hurting the One who loves us and whom we want to love in return. Jesus is the only one knows and loves us better than we know and love ourselves. He created each one of us out of love to share His life with us here on earth and forever in Heaven.
- Let us beg our Mother Mary for the grace to love Jesus a little more every day as our best and dearest friend, for this is when we will really soar in the spiritual life!
PART 2. FRIENDSHIP WITH CHRIST JESUS by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
When I arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1986 shortly after my ordination at the hands of Pope Saint John Paul II, I was contemplating a compelling portrait of Jesus. It was an image of His Sacred Heart, with flames of fire radiating from His Heart. However, what seemed to really captivate me most in the moment, were six words in Spanish that have been almost a motto of my life as a Catholic, Religious and priest, and follower of Christ. These words were: “Jesus, el Amigo que nunca falla.” Translation: “Jesus, the Friend that never fails!”
Christological names are many: The Good Shepherd, the Bread of Life, The Way, Truth, and Life, the Alpha and Omega, Lord, God, Savior, Redeemer, as well as Lamb of God, Son of man, and Son of God. Each of these names, like a precious diamond exposed to the sun through a process called refraction, reflects a different luminosity of the majesty, greatness and beauty of Jesus, the Son of the living God.
However, there is still another title that has captivated me for many years now and hopefully will captivate your heart and it is, Jesus, the Friend that never fails us.
On Holy Thursday, as Jesus sat at the Last Supper, about to give to all of humanity until the end of time two extraordinary gifts—we call them Sacraments—Holy Orders and the Most Holy Eucharist, He also called the Apostles, and each one of us, by a special name: “I call you friends!” In this most important moment in His life, shortly before being crucified for love of you and me, Jesus called the Apostles, and us, His intimate Friends.
Our Catholic-Christian religion has rules, precepts, orders, prohibitions, decrees and commands, this we cannot deny. The Ten Commandments are part and parcel of our deposit of faith. Nonetheless, if we limit our Catholic faith to nothing more than a series of rules, precepts, and Commandments to obey, then we missed the boat, missed the mark by focusing on something very important, but not that which is most important and essential.
The essence of Catholicism is a love-affair. It is a deep, dynamic, and growing relationship with three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The second Person of the most Blessed Trinity is Jesus, the Son of God become man. He came into the world to save us. But Jesus also came into the world to establish a deep, dynamic, and abiding Friendship with each and every one of us.
The Bible says that to find a true friend is indeed a treasure. We might even call it the pearl of infinite price that we should be willing to give everything else to acquire. Of all the friends that could exist in this world, friendship with Jesus is by far the best! In the painting of the Sacred Heart, He is the Friend who will never fail us in time and for all eternity. Even the best of friends are destined to fail each other sooner or later. But Jesus never fails us. We indeed fail Him, but He will never fail us, never!
For this reason one of the best motivations for us to strive energetically to observe the Ten Commandments is for the simple reason that we desire to establish, cultivate and grow in a dynamic Friendship with Jesus.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen coined one of the best definitions of sin on the market: “Sin is hurting the one you love.” True, sin is breaking one of the Commandments. However, above and beyond the mere breaking of a Commandment, by sinning seriously we are breaking the Heart of Jesus, who loves us so much that He died on the cross to prove His Love and Friendship for all of humanity, but also for each one of us individually!
If you were the only person in the created universe, your Faithful Friend, Jesus would have come into the world preaching, teaching, and exorcising demons, but especially this, He would have suffered all of the torments of His Passion, from the Agony in the Garden to His crucifixion on the cross, up to the shedding of His last drop of Blood when the lance pierced His Sacred Heart, just for you! All of this, Jesus, your Best Friend, willingly suffered for love of you so that He would be your Best Friend in time and for all eternity, and that you would be a true friend to Him.
Therefore, when you examine your conscience going through the Ten Commandments, why not take a fresh and new approach in preparation for Confession. And it is simply this! Recognize that your sins, in addition to breaking the Commandments, especially hurt Jesus, the One who loves you most and who wants to be loved by you!
Sin is saying “no” to the love of Jesus, your Lord and Savior, who is madly in love with you and has a burning desire for you to correspond to His love. Even more, by sinning you are breaking the Heart of your best friend Jesus. However, by making a good confession, you are healing the wounds in His Sacred Heart and restoring your friendship with the Friend who will never fail you, a friendship that does not end at the graveside, but will last forever in eternity in heaven.
Therefore, by saying “no” to sin, you are really saying “yes” to the love of God and “yes” to a deep and growing Friendship with Jesus.
Face it, if sinning is simply breaking a series of cold and impersonal rules, then chances are we will go back to sinning. However, if we see sin in a personal light, hurting my best Friend Jesus, wounding His Heart, then I will stop, think, and renounce this temptation to sin.
May Our Lady and good Saint Joseph pray for us! They were the ones who loved Jesus best, had the deepest friendship with Him on earth, and now and for all eternity, they are the beloved of Jesus.
Let us pray.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, make my heart like unto yours.
Jesus Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I breathe forth my soul unto thee.
O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Jesus, be my best Friend now, tomorrow, and for all eternity. Amen.