The mother cleaned out the leftovers from
the refrigerator. She gave one remaining
portion of tortellini to their 6-year-old
son, Jeremy. Obviously Gilbert, two years
older, wanted some also! So bickering ensued…
normal hassles of an ordinary family. Trying
to avoid a mini civil war, the father intervened.
Seeing that all his political attempts were
unsuccessful, he tried the theological approach.
Sharing with others is very Christian! So
he asked Jeremy, "Son, what would Jesus
do in this situation?" The answer came
out quickly and clearly, "Oh, Dad, He
would just make more!?"
Yes, that is exactly what Jesus would do.
Jesus would just make more! He is so generous.
He is such a good friend! The "Akathist
to the Sweetest Lord, Jesus Christ",
an Eastern Orthodox hymn of the 6th century,
defines Jesus Christ as "My Savior,
Friend of man."
We have a friend, a constant and reliable
friend. When here on earth, Jesus gave friendship
a face of flesh; He loved the young rich
man, He loved Lazarus tenderly, he endeared
himself to Martha and Mary. With his close
friends, Jesus shared His trials, the secrets
of His Father and he even entrusted his best
friend to His very own mother.
Henri Nouwen, a magnificent priest and author,
once wrote this precious gem about friendship.
"When we honestly ask ourselves which
person in our lives means the most to us,
we often find that it is those who, instead
of giving much advise, solutions, or cures,
have chosen rather to share our pain and
touch our wounds with a gentle and tender
hand. The friend who can be silent with us
in a moment of despair and confusion, who
can stay with us in an hour of grief and
bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing,
not curing, not healing, and face with us
the reality of our powerlessness, that is
a friend who cares." Jesus Christ is
all this and more.
Her name was Rose and she loved roses. So
her husband made it a point of sending roses
to her every Valentine's Day. Even the year
he died, the roses came with the usual card
saying "Be my Valentine!" He must
have ordered the roses in advance, she thought
to herself. He always liked to do things
early, way before the time.
However she was dumbfounded when the next
year at Valentine's Day, the doorbell rang,
and again there were the red roses, sitting
by her door. She immediately phoned the florist
shop wondering what was happening.
The explanation was simple. Apparently her
husband left a standing order, paid in advance
to send flowers every year. "And there
is another thing that you should know. A
couple of years ago, he wrote a card, asking
me to give it to you when I hear that he
is gone. I shall send it right away."
The note was simple. Written in his own handwriting,
it said, "Hello my love, I know it's
been a year since I've been gone. It must
have been very hard and rather lonely. The
pain must be real. I understand, because
if it was the other way, I know how I would
feel. The love we shared made everything
so beautiful in life. You were my friend
and lover… I am so grateful to God for giving
you to me. I want you to be happy, even when
you shed your tears. That is why the roses
will be sent to you for years. When you get
these roses, think of all the happiness,
that we had together, and how both of us
were blessed. I have always loved you and
I know I always will. … The roses will come
every year, and they will only stop when
your door is not answered. Then, the florist
has instructions to come five times that
day, just in case you have gone out. But
after his last visit, he will know without
a doubt, to take the roses to the place,
where I've instructed him, and place the
roses where we are, together once again."
Human friendship is beautiful. However it
always remains limited. This is why all saints
found what every human heart desires in another
Man, in Jesus Christ. In Him, they found
a faithful friend that is priceless for "he
loves at every moment", "making
life sweet". This person-to-person relationship
is so evident in Saint Teresa of Jesus.
"When I see You near me I have seen
all blessings. No trial has come to me that
I cannot gladly bear when I look at You as
You stood before Thy judges. With so good
a Friend, so good a Captain at our side,
Who came forward first of all to suffer,
one can bear everything. He helps us; He
gives us strength; He never fails; He is
a true Friend."
Sometimes in life, you find a special friend,
someone who changes your life just by being
part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until
you can't stop, someone who makes you believe
that there really is good in the world. Someone
who convinces you that there really is an
unlocked door just waiting for you to open
Jesus Christ is one such friend. Perhaps
the only such friend.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright