Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Congregation for the Clergy

5/14/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I no longer call you slaves, [.] I have called you friends

'I no longer call you slaves, [.] I have called you friends'. These words are the bearers of a radical new relationship between God and humanity.  They reveal something that humanity, in its human condition and sinfulness, could never have imagined: that the Son of God, the only Son of the Father, calls us His friends.

God reaches out to us

God reaches out to us

Article Highlights

By Congregation for the Clergy

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/14/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: friends, friendship, prayer, spirituality, vatican, Clergy


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - "I no longer call you slaves, [.] I have called you friends" (John 15:15).  These words, spoken to us by the Risen Lord, should be a source of abundant joy and the certain  hope for whatever the future holds for us.  They are the roots of our life, ever new, always given in a passionate love for Christ, for the Truth and for all humanity.

These words are the bearers of a radical new relationship between God and humanity.  They reveal something that humanity, in its human condition and sinfulness, could never have imagined: that the Son of God, the only Son of the Father, calls us His friends.

We should probably think again about what this word 'friendship' really means.  Like 'love', it has been used and abused to such an extent that it seems today to be almost emptied of its real meaning.  But Jesus explains to us in today's Gospel what the authentic friendship of God really means.

The Lord tells us that the status of friends is, as we might put it, qualitatively superior to that of servants.  This seems obvious to us today when think of the idea of servitude as against our rights.  The condition of a servant seems to us to be clearly unworthy of a human being, who should be able to live freely and able to achieve our great ideals.

Yet we can see that this way of understanding the words of Jesus is incorrect.  It's incorrect in the historical context of the time, and in terms of the unique relationship which is being discussed.  The relationship between God and humanity goes deeper than our simple understanding of the words 'friend' and 'servant'.  It is not just a relationship between one person and another, but a relationship between man and His Creator and Redeemer. 

The situation of servitude before God was, in fact, what made Israel the chosen nation.  Israel was called out of slavery in Egypt and put above all the nations of the world to serve the Lord.  It was, and is, an honour and privilege for a people to be chosen and called to be servants of God.

Now, through grace, we can say that God has truly descended into our midst in order to raise us up to His Presence.

In Christ, we see the plan of the Father fulfilled.  He is the real promised land, that was prepared for us in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  We are not like Moses, the servant of the Lord (c.f. Deut 32: 52), destined only to see the promised land from a distance.  We are able to enter and dwell there: "as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you [.] I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father" (John 15: 9, 15).

This is what is so radically new in this friendship.  Humanity, chosen and loved by God, created and called to serve Him, is now destined for a love which is beyond compare.  "A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).  The Son of God, made man, gives His whole Self and lifts us up towards the Father.  He opens the door of his dwelling and welcomes the faithful to the wedding feast.

By choosing us, which really means that He called each of us personally, Christ gives us the joy of sharing in His Life and Sonship.  We become participants, as St Peter says, in the divine nature (c.f. 2 Peter 1:4).

Animated by this new and profound communion with the Risen Lord, that accompanies us always and everywhere, we implore the Blessed Virgin Mary, Refuge of Sinners and Our Lady of Fatima, to help us to 'remain' in the love of Christ, to love one another and bear fruit as befits the children of God.  Amen!

Acts 10,25-26. 34-35.44-48: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9bfhjcj.htm   
1 Jn 4,7-10: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9ak0lmd.htm    
Jn. 15,9-17: www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/9asskgo.htm  

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis on the Resurrection: Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead? Watch

Image of Pope Francis: Today this question is also addressed to us.

By Pope Francis

This week is the week of joy, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It is a true, profound joy, based on the certainty that Christ is now risen, He is dead no more, but is alive and active in the Church and in the world . This certainty dwells in the hearts of ... continue reading


Pope Francis Easter Vigil Homily: Where is My Galilee? Encountering Jesus Watch

Image of Pope Francis: To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God's grace touched me at the start of the journey. From that flame I can light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters. That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy.

By Pope Francis

Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called. Jesus had walked along the shores of the lake as the fishermen were casting their nets. He had called them, and ... continue reading


Urbi Et Orbi: Pope Francis Gives Easter Message to the City and the World Watch

Image of The message flows from his entire pontificate of loving service.True and lasting peace comes through reconciliation and love. God is Love. He sent His Only Son to offer all of us the path to peace and the plan of loving salvation.

By Pope Francis

The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over ... continue reading


LOCH NESS MONSTER - FOUND? Amazing new photos appear Watch

Image of Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness. A satellite orbiting Earth and using Apple's satellite map app may have provided proof that there's a Nessie to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The ... continue reading


UFO caught on film in England, but it's not a spacecraft... Watch

Image of This mysterious ring lasted for about three minutes in the air before dissipating, according to the eyewitness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A bizarre black ring is baffling experts in England, after it was filmed by a sixteen year old girl in Warwickshire. The ring apparently hung in the sky for three minutes before dissipating. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nick Pope, a former adviser to the ... continue reading


Russia continues to devour Ukraine Watch

Image of Russia's Prime Minister, and former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vladimir Putin has continued his land grab in Ukraine, making it ever more apparent that the Russian president wants to reunite the old Soviet republics and from a new Soviet Union, even at the risk of causing a major war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia ... continue reading


Immune to poison, GIANT rats terrify Great Britain Watch

Image of Nationwide, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Rats -- the size of cats" is a lyric in David Bowie's classic rock hymn "Diamond Dogs." It's a terrifying, dystopian vision that unfortunately coming true in Great Britain today, with rodents as large as two feet in length. Even worse, these monster rats have ... continue reading


Pope appoints Lady Margaret Scotford Archer to head Pontifical Academy Watch

Image of Lady Margaret Scotford Archer was born in Grenoside, U.K., and holds a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently a professor at l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She previously taught for many years at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lady Margaret Scotford Archer has been appointed by Pope Francis to be President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences." The group consists of scholars dedicated to studying issues in the social sciences in order to offer reflection and advice to the ... continue reading


Dissenting Priest Defies Church of England's Teaching on Marriage, 'Marries' his Homosexual Paramour Watch

Image of An Anglican priest has defied the Church of England's insistence that marriage is between one man and one woman by openly dissenting from the Scripture and Christian tradition and wedding his longtime homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A practicing homosexual priest has defied the Church of England's ban on homosexual and lesbian clergy marrying by wedding his longtime male homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term homosexual ... continue reading


Who Am I? Homily of Pope Francis on the Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: all the people welcome Jesus. The children, the young people sing, praising Jesus.But this week proceeds into the mystery of Jesus' death and his resurrection. We've heard the Passion of the Lord. ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter