God desires an Intimate Friendship

Last week we discussed how honesty was an important first step in our Lenten journey.  If we are going to turn our lives towards God, we needed to be aware of what we are turning away from.  This week, as turn our focus to God, it is important for us to allow ourselves to ask, what does God want with us?  The answer: God desires intimacy. 

Our Gospel is filled with moments of intimacy.  Jesus brings his closest friends up the mountain with him.  This time is meant to be a moment of prayer, friendship, capped off by a transcendent experience.  We are on a mountain, and in scripture, mountains are places of experiencing God.  Jesus desires intimacy with his friends. But Jesus also has a very intimate moment with God – the Father.  A cloud comes and we hear a great voice, This is my son!  Listen to him! Jesus once again is claimed by the Heavenly Father as His son, whom he loves, but this time God offers a command: “Hey you three, listen to him.” In other words, Jesus speaks with the Father’s authority.

Friends, the intimacy that Christ experienced is also meant for us. God wants intimacy with us.  Before moving on, I think now would be a good time to clarify what authentic intimacy looks like.  Authentic intimacy is where reciprocal love, mutual desire to know the other, and full acceptance of the other.  Jesus and the father have a profound reciprocal love for each other, they know each other particularly through Christ’s moments of prayer, and we see the Father’s full acceptance of his son.  In our world, the most obvious example of intimate relationships are between holy marriages.  In these types of marriage between a husband and a wife, they choose to love each other freely with coercion, they never stop discovering more from the other, and they accept each other – with all of their faults and gifts, they accept and belong to one another.  Not in a possessive way, but in a beautiful offering of self to the other.

A mistake we sometimes make is that intimacy belongs exclusively to marital relationships.  But, Jesus clearly had an intimate relationship with his father. He most certainly had it with his mother Mary.  And he clearly had intimate relationships with his disciples, I know longer call you slaves, but call you friends (John 15: 13).

The gift that God wants to give each of us is intimate friendship.  God desires that himself with us.  And God desires us to experience intimate Christian friendships with each other. How do we grow in intimate friendship with God?  Well, the answer is given by the Heavenly Father himself.  Listen to Him, God says.  Listen to Jesus Christ.  The place where this listening occurs is in our prayers life.

Prayer ACTS

Contrition – Sorry for our sins

Thanksgiving – Lord thank you for ….

Supplication – Lord please help ….

Adoration à ARRR; this is the heart to heart conversation that develops between God and us.

God desires intimacy with us, all we need to do is desire the same with him.

In Christ’s love and friendship,

Fr. Stephen

Image Credit: https://i2.wp.com/drivethruhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Transfiguration-of-Jesus-A11.jpg?fit=1500%2C844&ssl=1

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