Friday of the Second Week


IS 48:17-19

MT 11:16-19


 “Have you heard this song?” a friend asks, pressing play as we travel home.  A few miles later we are swaying to the music and singing the refrain for all the world to hear.  In our gospel, Jesus speaks of music that makes you want to dance and music that may make you cry.  Jesus, like a good friend, is there to share the notes of joy and sorrow that accent the composition of our lives.  “We unite, so to speak, with this friend, so that his feelings become our feelings and our feelings become his experience,” writes Rudolf Schnackenburg in his small book, The Friend We Have in Jesus.  

I like classical or jazz playing in the background when I host friends for a party that includes eating and drinking.  I am also moved to listen in silence when a friend opens their heart to a loss they are feeling.  Joy and sorrow, dancing and mourning, eating and fasting, drinking and abstaining, celebration and ascetism are part and parcel of the rhythm of our personal and communal existence.  But the resounding tone that makes us feel alive comes from sharing it with good friends.

Jesus is a friend who understands us and reveals his heart to us.  So too, we share our thoughts with him and listen attentively for his reply.  How can his gentle words and subtle gestures hold such significance for us?  Listen for a reply in the finest music about his life, Handel’s Messiah.  Please consider sitting down with a friend for a listen to these beautiful songs as together we prepare for the glorious celebration of Jesus’ humble birth, the Incarnation.

Rev. Robert Capone
University Chaplain