Shepherds: Friends of the First Hour

Shepherds: Friends of the First Hour

I remember everything from that night. It was like many others and yet so different. I was the son of a shepherd, and like my father I too had “inherited” the profession. I was with him that night and together with us there were some others around. Suddenly they came to wake me: I didn’t understand what had happened, but they spoke to me of visions of angels, glad tidings, and a newborn baby. We needed to get going, SOON, to find him and pay him homage. They said it was a special child, a Savior. I hadn’t received the apparition, but the joy, the hope, the certainty that I saw in those faces hollowed by the sun and by much poverty left me without a doubt. WE MUST go to SEE. For this reason we STARTED OUT in search of the Child; my father was at the head with...

God Will Never Forget You

God Will Never Forget You

“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” Isaiah 49:15 I won’t ever forget how you looked at me the day I learned to fly. With the same enchanted awe of a mother that caresses her baby for the first time and can’t take her eyes off of the miracle before her. I was a miracle for you, like that blade of grass that unexpectedly breaks through just barely at the margins of asphalt. I know that it was you who took me by the hand and raised me up from the ground. You helped me to unfold my wings, even if you knew that I would have been able to fly far from you. But I didn’t do it, because I am your daughter. And in recognizing myself as your daughter I tasted for the first time...

Jonathan and David: When Friendship Doesn't Measure the Cost

Jonathan and David: When Friendship Doesn't Measure the Cost

The Old Testament character that we have chosen to meditate upon this month is Jonathan. Introduced in the First Book of Samuel, Jonathan is the son of the king Saul and the devoted friend of David. It is Jonathan’s selfless, uninterested love for David that is so striking. Having just met the young shepherd boy David at his victory over the giant Goliath, Jonathan “became as fond of David as if his life depended on him; he loved him as he loved himself.” (1 Sam 18:1) Jonathan immediately divested himself of his mantle and military garb, that symbolized his own dignity and rank as the king’s son and heir to the throne, and gave them to his friend. Saul becomes madly jealous of David who was loved by all the people and successful in battle and while the latter...

Joseph: Interpreter of God's Dreams

Joseph: Interpreter of God's Dreams

Joseph was different from all the other children of Jacob. Jacob loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the son of his old age. And God too confirmed his special election by giving him regal dreams that prophesied his future of glory, thus arousing the jealousy of his brothers. Joseph’s father had made him a long tunic. He kept Joseph with him, at his side, while the other sons pastured the flocks.Another beloved Son was with his Father. Because, as Péguy says, “before every New Testament story came one from the Old Testament that is its parallel and similarity.” One day Jacob decided to send Joseph to visit his brothers and the flocks. “Here comes the master dreamer!”, they said to one another when they glimpsed him from a distance, “we shall see what...

Someone…Somehow Special

Someone…Somehow Special

Mt 19: 16-29 Mk 10:17-22 Lk 18: 18-23 A man, says Mark, someone according to Matthew, an official if we read the Gospel according to Luke: someone rich for sure. Here is an intriguing character to continue our meditation with the Great friends of God as we approach now the New Testament. Let us think of a very wealthy man, maybe coming from a noble family; rich in goods and fortune. Someone special, though, because he has in his heart the most important question: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”(Mk 10:17). Life is too far a great gift to be squandered in anything less then perfection, wrote Thomas Merton. The smartness and depth of that desire leads me to ask myself: what is the biggest question of my life, the one which is at...