Reflection for Friday, May 15, 2020: 5th week in Easter.

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Amu, Vivian
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|We are only five months into the year, but it feels like we have repeated each day twice making our days seem longer.  It seems to be one of those long days today, so I took a moment to visit with Jesus. I had little energy to prop myself up and sit beside him, and even less energy to take a walk with him, so I sat at his feet.  I asked Jesus, "Who am I?" and Jesus said, "I call you friend."|How does one live as a friend of Jesus?  We are asked to love as Jesus loves us.  We are asked to go the extra mile for each other.  We are asked to be prepared to give up the things, the privileges, the fixed schedules, and our rigid ideas so we can be spacious enough to love.  We are been summoned to love and be loved; it is our vocation.  To be a friend of Jesus, we must be prepared to have our hearts broken open over and over again until we bear fruit that will remain; until we know a love that is unconditional and ripples through our lives and the lives of everyone we meet.  As I still sit at the feet of Jesus feeling safe, even though I am worried, tired, and acutely aware of my mortality, I asked, "Why must we endure loss of all we know or even let go?" and Jesus said, "So, that your hands and heart are free to hold on to me." |In today's Gospel, when Jesus commands his disciples to love one another, I could almost hear the panic in his voice, as if he was deciding to frame his invitation as a command to make sure that they heard him and that they knew how much they were loved.  Jesus is trying to strongly reassure them of his love and their importance. He wants to ensure that they don't gloss over the message, so he makes it imperative. Today's Gospel is an invitation to a relationship; our relationship to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit which resides in each of us. When we love each other, we are in a loving relationship with God. This message of gentle love is also evident in the first reading as the representatives take a letter to Antioch with the purpose of making peace, easing undue burdens, and making friends rather than enemies.|I felt so comfortable at the feet of Jesus as I gently leaned on him, and then I realized that so much of the day had passed and it was getting late.  Even so, I had one more thing to say to Jesus: "Friends sometimes let their friends down; they could even betray, and they might disappoint.  How could I be certain that our friendship will bear fruit that will remain?" and Jesus said, "because I was the one who chose you; I laid down my life for you; I love you." These words were for all of us.  So many people never get to hear any of those words throughout their lives from those around them, and today Jesus says them all to us through the Gospel.  He simply says, "you are my friends", "I choose you", "I love you." Is there someone in your life that would appreciate hearing those words of affirmation today?  Tell them and see what fruit that message bears.  Tell them, so that they are no longer afraid, no longer uncertain, no longer alone, no longer excluded, and no longer isolated.  Tell them because, you, my friends, are friends of Jesus.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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