In the world of social media, the word “friend” has taken on a nebulous meaning. St. Philip shows the power of a true friend. Jesus calls Philip to follow Him (Jn 1:43). The first thing Philip does is seek out his good friend Nathanael (also called Bartholomew) (Jn 1:45). Philip tells Nathanael about Jesus, ignores his friend’s sarcastic response, and invites Nathanael to come and see for himself (Jn 1:45-46). Then Philip gets out of the way and allows Jesus to take over (see Jn 3:30). Nathanael’s friendship with Philip overcame any of his prejudices, and so Nathanael had a profound, life-changing encounter with Jesus. Nathanael became one of the twelve apostles and a cornerstone of the Church (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14).
In today’s Gospel (Luke 10: 1-9) it shows us what Jesus wants his followers to be doing and how they ought do it. We are a missionary church. We are sent by the Lord to spread his word and do his work. The Gospel is just not something that we are meant to cling to for our own benefit; it is seed that we are meant to give away.
Prayer is not incidental to ministry. It is not decorative. It is the lifeblood of the Church’s efforts. Without it, nothing will succeed; without it, no ministers will come forward. At all times pray, pray, pray.
Gospel Reading LK 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”