Guardian Angels News

Pastoral Pearls: Know that Jesus is With You

Posted by MaryPat Potts on

Jesus is the Lord! And he is Lord from the cross, from there he reigned. That is why he understands us: he became like us in every way. So we have a Lord who is able to weep with us, who can be by our sides through life’s most difficult moments. ~ Pope Francis from 365 Daily Meditations with Pope Francis, April 30

So comforting, don’t you think? I stumbled a bit over the second sentence, because the suffering Jesus is not necessarily how I want to always think of Jesus. (My personal favorite image is the Laughing Jesus.) But it makes sense when you read the rest. I guess if Jesus hadn’t gone through all those very human things – like wandering away from his family as a boy, being tempted by the devil, being angry at the money changers in the temple  who just didn’t get it, weeping at the death of his friend, Lazarus, being abandoned by his “friends” when they were asked if they knew Jesus, his great suffering and pain on the cross, being rejected and unjustly judged, and dying for seemingly nothing – it would be so much harder to bring my prayers to him and believe that he understood me and would help me because of it. Now I can go to Jesus, because I know he is not above my human misgivings and mistakes and sufferings, and  will be there unconditionally for me.

We all go through tough times. Every one of us might need someone from time to time who could listen to us non-judgmentally, and be there while we blunder through life’s up’s and downs, and face mistakes, or hard decisions, and wish we hadn’t said or done something. I know that’s true for me.  And sometimes family members or close friends don’t work so well..

What I’ve seen in each and every one of our incredibly approachable GA BeFrienders is that amazing things happen for the folks with whom they work, who are hurting or need help in some way. They truly follow in Jesus’ footsteps. People become better equipped to make it through the loss of a loved one, affirmed that they are not crazy, and supported as they work through the feelings and experiences of their grief; People’ hearts and minds are eased as they move through hospice toward death, addressing the “Big” questions, with someone by their side; as strength while people struggle through disappointments, illness, surgeries, getting back on their feet…  BeFrienders are always this comforting presence, making sure you feel you’re not alone; this gentle, attentive person who can try to understand things from your perspective, and help you process your thoughts and feelings without trying to “fix” you.  No matter that you might think that your issue ‘too small” to be bothered with, or worry that it might be just “too big” and overwhelming for someone to be able to handle, I guarantee that when you  visit with a BeFriender just a time or two, you will find that you are so relieved and supported that you may want to continue for a bit, OR find that you only needed a visit or two. These BeFrienders are wonderful people and well-trained for this kind of visiting.  

Pope Francis encourages us to  “For today, know that Jesus is with you, even when your prayers have not been answered in the way you had doped. Instead of asking God to fix all your problems, pray for the strength to face them with Jesus.” I would add, and encourage you to experience the presence of Jesus working through a BeFriender to show you God’s love, so you may find comfort, healing, understanding and your own strengths amidst suffering.  (Contact MaryPat Potts for more info. on considering a BeFriender’s help – 651-789-3178 / )

Loving God, humble me enough to ask for help when I need it. Stop me when  I try to make excuses for not letting someone else help me. Open my eyes and my heart to see Jesus in those you make available to me to help, even as they help me see Jesus in myself. Thank you for never leaving me alone and for understanding my suffering from your own experiences in human form. Amen,



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