Homily for May 6

Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Easter
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily

Boys and girls: let’s talk about friends.
Everyone wants to have friends, likes to have friends.

Let’s say I have a friend named Bill.   How would I stay friends with Bill?

• Well, Bill and I would spend time together.
Friends like to be together as much as they can.
• And Bill and I would talk to each other,
sharing happy times - and maybe some sad times, too.
• And Bill and I would be there for each other
if one of us needed something from the other.
• Certainly I’d never want to do anything to hurt my friend Bill
and I trust that Bill would never want to hurt me.
• Oh!  And Bill and I would get together for dinner, too.
It’s always good to sit down and have a meal with a good friend.

I’m pretty sure these are the ways you stay friends with someone.

And I’m thinking about all this
because of something Jesus tells us in the gospel today.
Jesus told us he wanted to be friends with us - with all of us here -
and certainly Jesus wants to be friends with you girls and boys.
Do you remember what he said?  He told us,
 “I love you and I call you my friends. Remain in my love.”
Remain in my love… Be friends with me and stay friends with me.
Being friends with Jesus is a lot like my being friends with Bill.

• If I want to stay friends with Jesus, I need to spend time with him
and talk to him, and tell him about what makes me happy
- and what makes me sad.
Talking to Jesus like that is called prayer.
• And to be friends with Jesus I need to listen to him.
I need to listen to him when I pray
and I need to listen to him at church
like when he speaks to us in today’s gospel
and tells us he wants to be friends with us.
• And if I want to be friends with Jesus I need to try not to do anything
to hurt him - and to remember that when I hurt others, I hurt Jesus,
because Jesus lives in everyone around me.
• And if I’m friends with Jesus I ‘ll always try to do what he asks me to do,
especially when he asks me to reach out to other people,
to help other people, to love other people
and to forgive other people.
• And I need to trust that Jesus is always there to help me, too.
• And just like with my friend, Bill, if I’m friends with Jesus
that means getting together with him for dinner – well,  for supper -
and that’s just what we’re doing right now:
we’ve come to Jesus’ table to share in the food of the Last Supper,
the food of the Eucharist, in Holy Communion.

So this is a very special day for you boys and girls:
it’s the first time YOU have an opportunity
to become friends with Jesus in Communion.

Most of the rest of us here, teenagers and adults,
we became friends with Jesus in Communion years ago
and ever since our First Communion,        
Jesus has wanted us “to remain in his love,”
to be friends with every single one of us.

But some of us may have forgotten our friendship with Jesus,
we might have lost touch with him,
maybe we haven’t looked him up in a long time.
But even if we haven’t remained faithful to Jesus
but he has always remained faithful to us.
No matter how much we might have forgotten our friendship with Jesus,
he has never forgotten his friendship with us
Jesus remains friends with us forever: he never lets us down.
He’s the best friend any of us can ever hope to have.

It might be that today, girls and boys, at your First Communion Mass,
it might be that some people are coming back to Jesus
after some time of being away

And if that’s the case for anyone here,
you can be sure that Jesus is happy to see you return to his table
- just as all of us are happy to see these children come to the Lord’s table
to receive Communion, for the first time.

Boys and girls, I know that Jesus will be friends with you
for your whole life.
And I’m going to pray today that you’ll be the best of friends with Jesus
for your whole life.

And let’s pray for any “older” boys and girls here today
who might be coming back to visit their old friend, Jesus,
to visit with the most faithful friend
any one of us will ever have.

Every time you and I come home to Jesus
we can be sure that he’s waiting for us, every one of us
and he’s very glad to see us - and wants us to remain in his love.

So much did Jesus love us that he gave his life for us on Cross.
Because that’s the kind of friend Jesus is.
So come to his table and find the peace within Communion,
in communion with Jesus,
Jesus who’s the best friend any of us will ever have.


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