“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.”
We are among those blessed people on whom the light of Christ has shone. By virtue of our Baptism, we, who were once in the darkness of original sin, have been reborn into the great light that is God’s grace in us. We are cherished members of God’s family. I am so happy that you are part of that family here at Saint Francis of Assisi!
What a privilege! Yet, with this privilege comes the responsibility to actually live for God and to bring His Good News to all those we meet — at work, at school, in our community and right in our own home — in other words, to live as His good friends.
And there is a certain urgency that comes with the call to friendship with Jesus as we see in our Gospel passage from Saint Matthew. Jesus says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In other words, turn away from selfishness, turn towards God and live as His friend now — don’t wait!
In this same passage, the very first disciples give us examples of a good friend’s prompt “yes” when the Lord called to them. Our Lord invites them to “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” They did not hesitate but “at once they left their nets and followed him.” They put our Lord and His will first.
This is the essence of friendship with Jesus — to be always ready for the ways that He is calling us to bring His light to others. It’s more than something we do — it’s who we are.
Rev. Mark Zacker