During the pandemic, my husband and I discovered several inspirational YouTube channels and priests from all over the world trending with daily services. One of our favorites is Padre Arturo who serves a dozen of municipalities in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Most of these communities are populated by native Mexicans and have Nahuatl names I cannot pronounce – or spell- but his daily YouTube Spanish masses are so energetic that they generate over two hundred thousand views per day. He is good at reprimanding the faithful for lack of interest in God. This post derives from my Catholic experience, but its message is universal.
During a recent homily, Padre Arturo once again stated the fact that we tend to run to Jesus and pray to all the saints and Virgin Mary when we are in trouble, sick, desperate, etc. But seldom when we are doing well. I have to agree we all have done this at one time or another which reminded me of those Facebook friend requests we ignore or save for later.
I already have too many friends, or I don’t really know that person well, or unless they are friends of a good friend of mine I will ignore them. It is funny how we don’t accept the invitation from a person we know is real, but we don’t delete it either – right? We leave them there because maybe we will accept them at a later time. We are so important!
I’ve used all those excuses in the past to avoid getting to know Jesus Christ. “I am busy with so many friends’ posts, chats, gatherings – it’s just too much to deal with anything else, especially something that deep.” ” I really don’t know much about Jesus for I’ve seldom read the bible. He might not even be real so why waste my time.” “None of my friends seem to know Him either. They post prayers, and images with bible verses but none talk about Him as a friend.” We treat God as a Facebook subscriber and we’ve come to believe He needs us more than we need Him or else why would He constantly wait so meekly and so patient?
It is true, God will always be there waiting for us to start the conversation that will lead to a deep relationship, but unlike Facebook requests his friendship is the only friendship that matters.
One thing a relationship with God and our Facebook connections have in common is that we can share all the happy times we experience every day with Him just like we do on Facebook. This is a humbling activity and pretty soon all you’d want to do is share everything with Him and not be one of those who only think of Him in troubled times.
I accepted his friendship request decades ago, and at the time it felt as if I was doing Him a favor! “OK, I’ll give you a chance,” I thought. Following the advice of a rabbi friend, I questioned everything and researched and asked priests as many times as I had the opportunity. I gave skeptic authors a chance too and with time, discerned the information only to realize that I had connected with the most amazing and loving friend one can have. I fell in love. But I do have to reassure you He is not on Facebook, and while a relationship with Him takes more effort than pushing a tab with our cursor it is the most rewarding friendship of all.