December 10, 2022
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's Univeristy Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 186

Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalms 80:2ac and 3b, 15-16, 18-19
Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

Praying Advent Home Page


Dinner Prayers for the First Part of Advent

Becoming John the Baptist
- Preparing the Way for Jesus

Blessed is he who shall have seen you and who falls asleep in your friendship?

This is a very powerful statement about Elijah. Elijah was considered one of the greatest prophets and miracle workers in the Old Testament and appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. To rest each night knowing he was your friend had to be truly special.

Where would we be without friends? Not mere acquaintances, which might be as numerous as the contacts in our cellphones, but true friends. The count-on-one-hand group of people that you can and so often do depend upon? Someone who really is a BFF.

True friends are hard to come by. It takes time and energy to find and keep someone with whom we feel totally comfortable spending time. Friends are the ones who help build our confidence to overcome the challenges we face daily and the ones with whom we will discuss our deepest fears and longings. They are the ones who encourage us to be the very best we can be, and strengthen and remind us to be true to our goals and our faith. A friend keeps us from getting down on ourselves, becoming isolated and withdrawn, and reminds us when we are not sharing our God-given talents with others. They make us laugh, and they are the first ones we reach out to when we have suffered an unbearable loss. They are there with the proverbial shoulder to cry on.

Does this sound familiar to you? Is this a description of one of your best friends? It should, because this friend is the one we all share together, Jesus Christ. And the beauty of this friendship is that Jesus is constantly there for us. Not a phone call, text or email away from us, but rather, constantly at our side waiting to listen to our concerns and always pleased to hear of our gratitude and our unending love for him.

A friend like this is one we would never want to lose. But, as we all know so well, if we don’t frequently stay in touch with them, over time those seemingly inseparable bonds can dissolve, and our true friend is soon just a mere acquaintance.

As we continue our Advent journey, let us not forget that friendship is a two-way street. Take the time to let your friends know how important they are in your life, and how much you value their friendship, and especially Jesus, the best friend anyone could ever want to have. Then, like Elijah’s friend, we, too, will realize how blessed we are to fall asleep each night with Christ as our friend.

Merry Christmas!

P.S.  If you are in the mood to hear some old time Gospel singing, here's a song I recommend. In the early 80s I saw Tennessee Ernie Ford sing What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

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