A priest was once upset about the bad behaviour of a youth who lived next door. For a long time, he did nothing, hoping someone else would intervene. But when the youth’s bad behaviour became intolerable, the priest went to him and insisted that he changed his ways.
The youth replied that his uncle was the Mayor of the city and no one could prevent him from living as he wished. Then the priest said: “I shall personally complain to the Mayor. The youth countered that, this line of action would still be a waste of time because the Mayor will not change his mind.
“I shall then denounce you to God”. “God?”, said the youth. “is far too forgiving to condemn me”
At this reply, the priest went home defeated. But when the young man’s reputation got so bad that there was a public outcry, the Priest felt it was his duty to rebuke him. On the way to the young man’s house, the priest heard a voice that said: “Do not touch my friend”. The priest was shocked and confused. So when he got to the presence of the youth, he did not know what to say. The young said to him: “What have you come for now? The priest replied, “I came to reprimand you, but on my way here, a voice instructed me to let you be for you are His friend and under his protection” The young man was stunned. “Did he say I was His friend”, the boy asked? But by then, the priest had left.
Years later, the priest met the young man in Jerusalem during a pilgrimage to the Holy land. The young man had been so touched by the words of the voice that he had given up his possessions and became a Hermit. “I have come here in search of my Friend” he said to the priest and died.
In the Gospel passage today, we read: So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them (Mark 6:12-13). Our motive for repenting and for preaching repentance is that God is our friend. “So we are ambassadors for Christ. God making his appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, become friends of God” [2 Corinthians 5:18-19]. We as ambassadors for Christ, by the virtue of our baptism should not shy away from telling this truth to power.
So brethren, it is time to get back to the Lord for the greatest romance one can have is to fall in love with God; the greatest adventure is to seek him and the greatest human achievement is to find him (St Augustine). Have you found him?