Jesus wants intimate friendship, Denver archbishop tells youth
By Estefania Aguirre
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver gives a catechesis session during World Youth Day in Rio on July 25, 2013. Estefania Aguirre/CNA.
Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver gives a catechesis session during World Youth Day in Rio on July 25, 2013. Estefania Aguirre/CNA.

.- Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila encouraged young people attending World Youth Day to move beyond having a surface-level friendship with Jesus to know him “profoundly.”

“My desire is that you come to know and receive the love of Jesus, that you embrace him in profound friendship,” said Archbishop Aquila on July 25.

He explained that there are different kinds of friendships, “some are acquaintances and some we know profoundly, and it is that type of intimacy that Jesus wants to have with each one of you.”

“My beloved ones, Jesus and the Father love you,” he stated. “It’s important for you to say ‘yes’ to this great truth.”

“If we truly trust in Jesus, he will change everything in our lives,” he proclaimed.

Archbishop Aquila spoke to around 300 young people at the College of Our Lady of Mercy at Fonseca-Niterói in Rio de Janeiro as part of the catechesis or teaching sessions that occur during World Youth Day.

But having Christ change their lives, the archbishop taught, “will not happen without your own conversion.”

“This will take your whole life and you need to be prepared to do it,” he stated.

The archbishop underscored the importance of surrendering to Christ and added that the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist, available after each of World Youth Day’s catechesis sessions, are an opportunity for the youth to do this.

“Jesus desires friendship with us,” he said. “The relationship with Jesus, the communion with him, is not about a philosophy, or moral rules, but an encounter with Jesus.”

To make his point, Archbishop Aquila recalled the time when Jesus’ disciples asked him where he lived. Christ responded by inviting them to “come and see” and they spent the entire day with him, he recalled.

“Jesus extends this invitation to you today, to come and see,” Archbishop Aquila said.

“He only invites, never imposes; it is up to you to cooperate with Jesus, to open your mind and heart, to hear Jesus,” he added.

Denver’s archbishop also made the point that it is God who initiates a relationship of love and intimacy, because he is the one who created us.

In life, “we have to first receive love and then learn how to give love, and this also happens with God,” he stated.

“The greatest love to the world, to us, is his Son, Jesus Christ, and learning from his love, we will love also; if we are in Jesus, we will bring others to him,” he said.

Archbishop Aquila also tackled the issue of Christians experience suffering and difficulty.

God loves us, but that does not mean there won’t be crosses or difficulties, he said.

“And yet, in the midst of that, Jesus is still with us,” he added. “Jesus knows much about it, he truly has experienced suffering and denial.”
Pointing to the cross, Archbishop Aquila emphasized that by looking at the cross, we can see the love of God for humanity, and also the rejection from humanity.

“But we can especially see that evil does not overcome good, Jesus rises from the dead,” he taught.

“In his body,” the archbishop noted, “he is is truly risen and now he reveals even more the love of God the Father.”

Archbishop Aquila finished his talk by returning to the theme of friendship, recalling that Jesus told the disciples, “no longer do I call you servants, but I have called you friends.”

Tags: World Youth Day, World Youth Day - Rio 2013

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »


Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: