Click through a slideshow of photos of our Pilgrimage to Rome at the bottom of this page.
In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”
Friendship has an extremely important role to play in all of our lives. Without real friends, life loses much of its appeal. It becomes dull, lonely and, at time, even quite depressing. True friendship is not just useful. It is, in many ways, the staff of life, a necessity for human living. In the encyclical, The Redeemer of Man, St. John Paul II gave us these remarkable words: “Man (or woman) cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible to himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.”
What could be clearer? Life without love makes no sense whatever. One of the most common forms of love that we find in our lives is found in our friendships. There may be people who have no family or any close relatives. But we would surely pity the person without even one friend. The power of deep friendship is truly remarkable. Think of your closest friends; some of them might be from grade school, others from university years. But a true friend is more than someone who just has history with you, and knows where the bodies are buried! But, as with all valuable things in life, we need to actively take care of our friendships. To have a friend, we must be a friend.
“Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God’s best gifts.” (Thomas Hughes, British reformer, jurist and writer; 1823-1896).
Is friendship a ministry? Yes, if it is a true service to others. While we are still in the Easter season, it is good to talk about what happens when we make the decision to love our neighbor. We not only give new life to someone else, but our own life is refreshed and renewed. _____________________________
I had a wonderful pilgrimage to Rome and Italy a couple of weeks ago…38 people from around the diocese (and a few from outside the state) were in the group along with seven priests and the Bishop. We visited the four major basilicas of Rome and other holy places in Florence, Assisi, Lucca, Pisa, and Montecatini Terme. One of the highlights for me was the “Jubilee Year pilgrim’s walk” from the Castel Sant Angelo to the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica where Bishop O’Connell was there to greet us and lead us in prayer. Along the route we prayed various prayers from a leaflet that was given to us. You were certainly remembered in my Masses and prayers every day!
“A beautiful prayer that we can always pray, is that of Samuel: ‘Speak, Lord, because I am listening.’ This prayer asking for docility to the Holy Spirit carries forward the Church and enables us to be instruments of the Spirit so that the Church can move forward….We should pray this many times a day: when we have a doubt, when we do not know what to do, or when we want simply to pray. And with this prayer we ask for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit.” (Pope Francis)…. Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to my homily at Mass this morning: 04.24.16 New Commandment
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish