“… we have seen it and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us”
In today’s gospel, I was curious and wondering about the friendship between Mary Magdalene, Peter and John. Peter and John, despite their difference in age, may be close to one another for obvious reason. But how about Mary Magdalene? How often they see each other? How close is their friendship? Yet, when she discovered the empty tomb, she came to Peter and John right away, trusted them and shared with them the news. One thing is for sure, Mary Magdalene did care a lot about Jesus, and so did Peter and John, who ran to the tomb, right way. In fact, Jesus, more than just a master, was a very good friend of theirs, who had changed Mary, Peter and John’s lives by His genuine care and unconditional love for them. They shared a friendship that leads one another to Christ, to respond more readily and deeply to His love for them.
My journey of Advent this year had its ups and downs… It started very well with a gathering called “Koinonia”, an interesting Greek word that means community with one heart, one soul; or community-friendship-communion. The gift that I received from that weekend is the trust and the space that we allowed ourselves to listen to God and to each other deeply. Unfortunately, my work has been so busy right after that it was a challenge for me to ponder deeper upon the graces of Koinonia. However, I was blessed with the Mary, the Peter and John of today, the friends that helped me to get closer and closer to God. The friends that like Mary, Peter and John, once their lives has been touched and transformed by Jesus, inspired and accompanied others to look for Him, to understand Him more, to enter into communion with Him in all things, even sometimes in empty tomb… During this past December, I have been moved, touched, inspired and surprised by many of my friends, through events such as Koinonia, Java Jazz n Jesus, the final preparation and launching of album “I Choose”,… From the trust, listening heart, hard work and sacrifices of some of them to create space for others to meet Jesus in a personal way, to the surprise and sweetness of some whose presence, prayers and act of kindness touched me and my family deeply.
On Christmas Eve, driving alone to Wichita Falls, TX, my wife’s hometown, all the faces of my friends suddenly overwhelmed me with profound gratitude. These faces of love and life that made me realize the true meaning of the season. With a warm feeling of joy, peace and anticipation, I could see the face of baby Jesus in all of them, the face of a Friend who humbles Himself to be close to us, to care and inspire us into communion with the Father; a Friend who comes and gives life to all the friendships and relationships we share with others, with deeper meaning and purpose.
Isn’t to be Christ’s apostle, to evangelize, like Saint John, is to introduce a friend named Jesus to a friend you know? Who are the Mary, Peter and John in your life? How is your relationship with them?
reflected by Thai-Son Tran