Jesus said to them, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.' Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."
Maybe some of you do not know the various cities mentioned in today's Gospel. However, the message is all the more familiar because we have heard it in different settings: What makes you a true friend of the Lord is not some external relation - such as living in the same town as He.
In fact, there are different kinds of relationships. Some are externally constituted, others are internally grown; some are defined, others are discovered; some regard certain parts of you, others regard you. You become a neighbor, for example, by the simple fact or moving into the house next door; you become a citizen by being registered, a colleague by being hired, and so on. But how do you become a friend with someone?
We know well what type of relationship with the Lord we are called to. And we are aware of the implications: in order to internally grow in it, we need to foster it in prayer; in order to discover it time and again, we need to open our heart to the graces and signs of the Holy Spirit; in order to unite ourselves with Christ, we need to bring all the parts of our lives before Him. These things are so very basic for a Christian life that we could take them fro granted. But, can we? Are we really taking the basic steps to maintain our friendship with Our Lord? Today, first Friday of the month, we can renew this type of friendship by touching the Lord's heart in prayer.
Finally, the last lines of the gospel show that we are not the only ones investing into the deepening of the friendship with Christ. He is actually the first one to make the steps described above: He declares to His disciples that, from His end, their relationship is so close that He identifies with them entirely. “You and me become one thing,” he basically tells them.
Let us come before Jesus and worship Him. Maybe we are far from giving our best at all times. Nevertheless, that should not hold us back from investing into a deep, internal and real relationship with Him. Here you stand. You. Today. Do not be afraid. Renew your will to pray, to share your life with Him, to follow His commandments. Through the glorious effects of His grace, He has made you capable of being a true friend of His. Identify with His heart as much as He identifies with you, so that, whoever sees you sees Him, and whoever listens to you listens to Him.