Fr: Carter Griffin: It’s Not Just a Metaphor — Jesus Really Does Regard You as His Friend

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“It is through friendship with Christ that we experience what is beautiful and what redeems us.” —Pope Benedict XVI

By Father Carter Griffin, National Catholic Register, 5/3/20

Fr. Carter Griffin is the Rector of Saint John Paul II Seminary in Washington. He is a graduate of Princeton University, a former Naval Officer, and author of the new book Why Celibacy? Reclaiming the Fatherhood of the Priest published by Emmaus Road.

Father Carter GriffinAs we honor Jesus the Good Shepherd in the Sunday Gospel, it is also an opportunity to turn our minds towards his vicars, the priests who serve us with generosity and fidelity.  Many people are experiencing isolation and loneliness in this pandemic, and priests are not immune from these trials.

Not in recent memory have our shepherds been separated from their flocks, from their brother priests, and from their own friends and families as they are today.  Many are feeling quite alone. The antidote can be found in some of the last words spoken by Jesus:

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:14-17)  …

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