“I call you friends.” – John 15:15
- Jesus Chose Us – At the last supper Jesus said that He is the true vine and His Father is the vinedresser. To this He added the amazing declaration calling those with Him “friends” not that they chose Him but rather He chose them. And because He chose them, and they are His friends, they are to go out into the world and bear fruit from the vine.
- Francis Called the Sultan Friend – Early in his conversion, Francis had wanted to be a martyr but had been thwarted several times in his attempts to go to the Holy Land. Moreover, Francis was not to serve God as a martyr for his faith, but rather to call the supposed enemy of the Church his friend and to live in exemplary fashion the final gospel command to love one another. When Francis and his companion, Illuminato, crossed the battle line at Damietta into the land of the Muslim army, it was not to be a martyr but rather to be an instrument of peace and to call the sultan “friend.” We can but imagine the encounter of Francis with the sultan but we can be certain that the two parted as friends not as enemies.
- Object of My Life – The object of a person’s life is the pole round which our whole life revolves. Be it the object of power or peace, of enemy or friend, so is our life cast. As Jesus was to call Judas friend in the garden of Gethsemane and as Francis was to go to the sultan as an instrument of peace, what is the object of my life? As Jesus is the vine, do I invite the Father to trim me so as to bear good fruit? What am I to do today so that I can be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, to see myself as a son or daughter of God and to be joined with the friendship of God in the kingdom of heaven? For that I have been called by Jesus.
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