By Debby Giusti
In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus ask his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” A similar question was posed to me years ago when I was a young military wife.
“Who is Jesus to you?” our pastor asked at the monthly meeting of our Parish Council. My Army husband and I, along with our three children, were living at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, at the time, and I was serving as the president of the Military Council of Catholic Women.
“I’ll publish the council’s responses in the parish bulletin,” Father continued. “Debby, yours will run first.”
The assignment was a challenge, and I spent the next few days honing my thoughts about my relationship with Christ. Once satisfied with what I had written, I submitted my rather terse response, and the following Sunday, it appeared in the bulletin.
“Jesus,” I wrote, “is the friend I can talk to anytime or anyplace, and although I never hear his voice, he answers me in beautiful, unspoken ways that some would call coincidence.”
The next week another parishioner’s response—a lengthy, theological essay–was published. I was mortified. My few lines seemed simplistic in comparison to his eloquent treatise. I spent the day crestfallen and bemoaning my naiveté.
Hoping to find consolation in scripture that night, I opened The Living Bible, a Catholic edition developed for young adults that I was reading at the time. Tears burned my eyes as I thought again of my foolish response. Why had I called Jesus my friend instead of my Lord and Savior?
Glancing down at the Bible, my gaze was drawn to Matthew 10:32. The translation read, “If anyone publically acknowledges me as his friend, I will openly acknowledge him as my friend before my father in heaven.”
More tears fell, but these were tears of gratitude. Once again, Jesus had answered me, just as I had written, in a way “some would call coincidence.” He turned my humiliation into joy, and I was touched, as has happened so often throughout my life, by his quick and uplifting response to my need.
Over the years, I’ve learned to recognize his voice in many ways–through scripture, through the words of my sisters and brothers in Christ, through nature and the beauty of the world around me. I’ve also learned to recognize the small interior voice that whispers words of love to my heart.
Yes, Jesus loves me. He cares for me, he protects me and he remains forever my friend as well as my Lord and Savior.
Who is Jesus to you?
About the author:
Debby Giusti is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of Christian suspense with more than 800,000 books in print. Her work has won numerous accolades, including two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Inspirational Suspense, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, the Golden Quill, Beacon and the Write Touch. Her twenty-fourth novel, Amish Christmas Secrets, will be in bookstores this October. A lifelong Catholic, Army wife and mother of three, Debby shares the love of Christ, one story at a time. Visit Debby: www.DebbyGiusti.com and https://www.facebook.com/debby.giusti.9
Beautiful and meaningful! How much more I love to read brief, thoughtful lines or paragraphs than a huge essay. Your statement was beautiful and said it all. Yes, you didn’t mention that Jesus as Lord and Savior, but we all know what you meant without specifically saying that. God bless you and your work!!! +JMJ+G
Thank you, Debby! Once again a beautiful reflection and inspiration.
This is a beautiful description of a real life, day to day relationship with Jesus. It is how I know Him, and how I have learned to hear and trust His voice. Thank you for sharing a part of your wonderful walk with Christ and His church.
Debby, your words are just beautiful and bring to mind, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” You reflect this verse, and acknowledge that Jesus, Our Lord and Savior did this for you–it’s because He is also your friend, and that is beautiful!
Off topic, I also thank WINE for bringing us together to pray and fast on Wednesdays for our church. I told others yesterday how We have so many wonderful priests to thank God for–yesterday/Saturday, our pastor’s day (our parish just has 1 priest) was this: 2 weddings, 1 quinceanara, confessions, the 4 and 6:00 masses, and 6 baptisms. He has done 270 baptisms at the parish so far this year! So we pray for our priests and thank God especially for those like this man, who are moving mountains for our church. Thank you to all WINE women doing this!
Kathy, thank you for mentioning WINE’s Wednesday fast and prayers for the Church. We are so grateful for your support and for joining with us!
Gwen, thank you for your swert comment. God bless you!
Thank you, Stephanie. Hope all is well with you and your family.
I’m grateful for your comment, Mary.
Kathy, yes, praying for our wonderful priests…good, holy men!
After reading your post, Debby, I thought how powerful the most simplest response can be. It also reminded me of the song, “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Thank you for the beautiful reminder. Have a blessed day!