Daily Reflection for Friday, May 15, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 15:22-31
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 57:8-10, and 12
Gospel: John 15:12-17
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“I have called you friends because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you ...” John 15:15-16
During our extended time at home, my family and I have tried to reclaim space overtaken by clutter and to and freshen up areas that need TLC. While paying more attention to our environment, I noticed an eclectic and unconventional assortment of religious items collected throughout my life.
Hidden in the back of my closet is “Buddy Christ,” a parody icon from the movie Dogma, who was supposed to “lighten up” the image of the church and recruit new followers. “My Friend Jesus,” was a gift to my daughter. He arrived with a short story that encouraged children to snuggle with him as they prayed, and he holds a special place in my heart because my sister-in-law purchased him just months before she died. The ceramic girl is a hand-painted Quaker doll that the women at my childhood church made and sold to raise money for needy women around the world. “The Religious Society of Friends” is the proper name for Quakers, and it was derived from John 15:14-17. Finally, figures of Jesus and His friends are gathered for the Last Supper.
What do these odd representations reveal about my relationship with Christ?
Although I worry that the irreverent Buddy Jesus will offend guests, I can’t let go of him. I treat Christ like a buddy when I don’t make my prayer life a priority and fail to treat it with the value and respect it deserves.
“My friend Jesus” represents a slightly childish, but trusting relationship. I turn to Christ with my needs and for reassuring comfort. Although I’m not necessarily open to the challenge of new growth and change, it quietly takes place as I sit in His presence. Just as my children have grown imperceptibly before my eyes, time spent with “My Friend Jesus” nourishes a lasting faith that I don't notice until I look back at the tiny person I was before.
The Religious Society of Friends affirms that “there is that of God in everyone.” My Quaker doll not only reminds me of where my faith began, but that I am connected to all people in the world through the Light of God within all of us.
Finally, I look at Jesus and the first friends of Christ. They loved, betrayed, mourned, and sustained Christ and His plan on earth. Just as He chose them, He chose me. Their imperfection and failures remind me to persevere when I fear all is lost.
Walk around your home today and “find” Jesus. What items have you gathered that remind you that you have been chosen as a friend of Christ?
May God’s Peace Be With You,