There was a man who had three friends. He adored two of them; he was ready to do anything for them. On the other hand, he did not care much about his third friend. The ironic thing was that this third man was the one who most revered him.
One day this man was sent to prison. While in prison, he naturally asked his friends to help him out of this predicament. The first friend simply ignored his pleas for assistance; he did not even bother to contact him. The second friend accompanied him to the door of the court but then said, “Excuse me, but I can be with you only this far, because, you understand, I do not want to meddle in these trial messes.” The third friend, the least regarded by our protagonist, went in with him to court and spoke so highly of him before the judge that he was released.
This story is a parable.
The story of our life.
We, too, have three friends.
The first friend is called money. We work so hard for it, we wrestle so much for it, we do anything to acquire more money or to save what we have…. But this friend unfortunately is the first one to disappear when we really need him. Money has never cured your depression or brought you out of your rut. Indeed, when you need it most, money disappears. True, no?
The second friend is called family. Family is fine and can be gratifying. Dad, mum, husband, wife, kids… they all provide emotional support. But in the real problems of solitude, the meaning of life, pain, what can this friend do? Family may ease your pain, but the wound remains.
Then we have the third friend. His name is Jesus. Often we pay little attention to Him but he is the one who can help us most. He is the one who will always defend us. The one who really reveres us. The only one who is now interceding for us in heaven….
Jesus. Many know about Him but few know Him.
“Someone was telling me that you have joined the neocatechumenal way in your parish. Is it true?”
“So, now you know a lot more about Jesus Christ. Can you tell me the political situation of the Holy Land when Jesus was born?”
“I don’t know.”
“Can you tell what were the legal procedures which led to his death?”
“I don’t know.”
“So what do you know?”
“You are right. I should be ashamed that I know so little about Him. But I know one thing. Three years ago I used to drink, I could not pay my debts, my family was breaking up, my wife and children used to be terrified when I arrived home. Now I don’t drink, I am gradually paying off my debts, at home we get along better, my children are happy. This is what Jesus Christ has done for me. This is what I know…”
St. Thomas Aquinas is the greatest theologian the Catholic Church has ever known. This Dominican friar wrote many beautiful books, full of wisdom, full of knowledge and information about God.
Once he experienced God. The moment he had this exposure, he stopped writing. When his secretary, Father Reginald, asked him why he has stopped writing, this Doctor of the Church said pensively, “The moment I tasted God I realized that all that I have written was just straw…”
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.