Wednesday, April 8, 2020

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  Happy Holy Week!  This is my favorite week of the year, which leads up to praying and celebrating my favorite Mass of the year, Easter Vigil.  Yes, it will be different this year but the most important people (Father, Son, and Spirit) will still be with us.  You know, it may be harder for some than others, but we could continue living our lives in this atmosphere of social distancing, but socially distancing yourself from God is never a good idea.  Honestly, we need and crave His love and friendship too much to want to be distanced from Him. 

During Holy Week, we read and pray the Passion of our Lord twice.  Palm Sunday we read from the Gospel of Matthew and then from the Gospel of John on Good Friday.  While reading the Gospel during Mass Saturday evening there were a couple verses from the Passion that really jumped out at me. 

Matthew 26: 48 “His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”  49 Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.  50 Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.”  Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.”  Jesus called Judas Friend.  Wow!  Face to face in the actual moment of handing Jesus over to be tortured and put to death, Jesus still called Judas Friend.  That is so incredible, but as a human being I don’t know that I’m that forgiving.  If you ever think that your sin cannot be forgiven, in that very moment Jesus is still calling you Friend.

Matthew 26: 73 “A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.”  Without even trying or thinking, his speech gave him away as a follower of Christ.  Does your speech give you away?  For many years I was a closet Christian, unwilling to profess my faith and belief in Christ as a daily part of my walk with Him.  I guess at that point it really wasn’t much of a walk with Him if I wasn’t willing to talk about Him with others.  I honestly believe a prayer that I’ve been praying for about 19 years, every morning when I brush my teeth, has helped me break free from my unwillingness and fear of what others would think.  The prayer is Ephesians 6: 10-20 The Armor of God, but more specifically verses 19-20 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  And then I always add “In Your Son’s name, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.”  You see, it doesn’t do any good to just declare something if it’s not being declared in the Lord.  A declaration has no real meaning without the Lord being at the center of it all.  I pray that this Holy Week moves you in mighty ways.  That miracles are seen and felt.  And that you will know beyond any shadow of a doubt that YOU are a friend of God.  Happy Easter!  Bless others and be blessed. 

#PhillipsCraigandDean – I am a Friend of God

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