I have called you friends.

Friendship: it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to us. That’s because, in many ways, friends share the same heart. They experience one another’s joys as well as their sorrows. It’s this sense of communion that makes friendship so precious to us.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is telling us that he considers us his friends. What an honor! And because our hearts are united in friendship, whatever grieves the Lord should also grieve us, and whatever makes him rejoice should also make us rejoice. And therein lies the key to an ever-deepening friendship with him: if we can sense what’s on Jesus’ heart—what he wants to see done in the world—then we can cooperate with him in accomplishing it. And if we need certain gifts to do that, we can ask his Holy Spirit to give them to us.

The feast of Pentecost is only a couple of weeks away. It’s the perfect opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit for the gifts that will help us build up the Church and fulfill the desires of Jesus’ heart. As the feast approaches, perhaps you could spend some time in prayer considering various situations in your life and trying to sense what God wants for them. Then ask him, “What gifts do I need that will equip me to accomplish your will?”

For example, maybe you sense that God wants to bring healing to a neighbor or coworker who is suffering. If so, ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of healing. Maybe you encounter division at work or in your neighborhood, so you ask for the gifts of wisdom and discernment to help bring about unity. Or maybe you sense the Lord wanting you to share more of your faith with your family, so you ask for boldness and zeal.

This is what friendship with God is like: his heart and your heart united in love, with a shared concern and burden for others. If you ask him for the gifts you need to better accomplish his work, he will not disappoint you. So come to him with openness and expectant faith. Believe that Jesus, your Friend, will hear you and respond.

“Jesus, thank you for calling me your friend. Holy Spirit, give me all the gifts I need to do your work in the world.”

Psalm 57:8-10, 12
Acts 15:22-31
John 15:12-17


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