Cousins Meet (Jesus of Nazareth 1977)
John the Baptist meets his cousin and, for the first time truly knows the one about whom he has been preaching and, for whom, he has sought to "prepare the way". It's only when they meet, truly and in person, that the truth is fully revealed. How easy it can be for us (for me) to speak about Jesus, even want to prepare the way for him, and not have fully encountered him in personal contact. There has to be a message in here somewhere. For me? For you? Friendship with Jesus, like all true and meaningful friendships, must allow for meeting and spending time face to face, so that words can be exchanged and recognition made possible.
In reality all meaningful friendships are the same. Our true friends are those who are in our corner and, as the saying goes, "have our back". True friends are those who walk into our lives in moments of crises, times of need, grief or bereavement. True friends are those who walk towards us when others might choose to walk away. Friendship has to grow and develop - it's not instant and has little, if anything to do with, "clicking" a mouse, "liking a comment", "tagging a photo", or "following" on FaceBook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram or any other platform of that kind. These may well be the tools of friendship and, without doubt, have a role to fulfill but they can never replace personal contact, face to face meetings and being with people when most needed. Like John the Baptist and his cousin, our Saviour Jesus Christ, true recognition and friendship is formed through personal contact.
These are the thoughts I tried to share at today's Mass. I received a humorous piece during the week that I included in the bulletin. I wanted to read it because I liked and enjoyed it but also because as often happens in humour, a real point is being made ...
I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.
Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I’ve eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom.
I give them pictures of my family, my dog and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.
I also listen to their conversations, give them the “thumbs up” and tell them I “like” them.
And it works just like Facebook! I already have four people following me: two gardai, a private investigator and a psychiatrist!!!!