Nothing is more important than our friendship with Christ.
Why is that?
The Catechism teaches us that we “were created to live in communion with God, in whom we find happiness” (#45). In other words, we simply cannot find the fulfillment we seek in life, except through living in communion with God. But how do we do that?
Before original sin, communion with God was automatic. But original sin shattered that communion. Sin, suffering, conflict, death, and frustration invaded the human family.
But God himself came to our rescue. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to rebuild the bridge that original sin had broken.
Through friendship with Jesus Christ, then, we can once again live in communion with God and achieve the happiness we were created for. That’s why nothing is more important than our friendship with Christ.
But being Christ’s friend means more than simply praying and receiving the sacraments – although those are essential. It also means following him. It means daily listening for his call and obeying it when it comes.
That’s the tough part. Because obeying Christ means going against the grain of this fallen world. It brings us into conflict with social trends, other people’s desires, and even of our own sin-struck nature. We shouldn’t go looking for these conflicts; we should look only to discover and carry out God’s plan.
But Christ doesn’t want us to be naive either. Being true to him will not always be easy. It can affect even our closest relationships – as Jesus makes clear in this Gospel passage. When he makes his will known, not even family ties should hold us back from following him.
In Christ’s mind, that’s how much his friendship matters – it’s worth sacrificing everything for.
Jesus said to his disciples (Luke 12:49:53):
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”