“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
The fifth step of the “Way of the Heart” is entitled, “He calls us his friends.”
Before ascending into Heaven Jesus boldly proclaimed, “I am with you always.” God did not want to leave us alone on earth, but to call us to a deeper friendship, to walk side-by-side with us forever.
This is the type of relationship that Jesus desires, as he explained to his apostles before his crucifixion.
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
One of the most visible signs of this call to a deeper love is the sacrament of the Eucharist. It is the realization of Jesus’ promise to be with us “always” and the red candle burning next to the tabernacle in every Catholic Church (called a sanctuary lamp) reminds us that he is there, hoping that we will notice him and accept his offer of friendship.
By accepting that offer and walking with Jesus we begin the process of learning the cares of Jesus’ heart and making them our own. We see the world with his eyes, recognizing the many challenges facing humanity and offering ourselves to him each day, pledging that we will do our part to help relieve the plight of our fellow brothers and sisters.
Just as St. John placed his head on Jesus’ heart, so we too must do the same and listen to what Jesus has to say and where his heart is broken. By doing so we can look at the world with his eyes and recognize what our role is in relieving the great suffering in today’s world.
Let us pray this month that we may walk with Jesus in friendship, seeing the world as he sees it and doing what we can in prayer and in deed to make the world a better place. There are many challenges facing this world, but by uniting our heart to Jesus’ heart, we can understand the true path to peace and joy.