“The Holy Spirit invites the faithful to sit at the table with God to share in his love, which is what happens at every Mass, at the altar of the Eucharistic table, where Jesus offers himself to the Father and offers himself for us.”

– Pope Francis

Sean is one of those friends that I hardly ever see, nor do I even talk to that frequently. However, whenever we do connect, we pick up right where we left off. The banter is constant, and we always have a lot of laughter. Between COVID, my son's cancer treatment, and then Sean's own struggle with cancer, it had been way too long since we had seen each other. So, when work gave me the chance to go to his city, I was sure to plan it around time with him. Sean and his wife, Andi, got a babysitter and we sat down for a long dinner.

There was so much to share, so much we understood from each other's similar challenges and experiences of life. At one point our waiter looked a little frustrated as we hadn't ordered food after a good 20 minutes of catching up. "Are we expecting one more?" the waiter asked impatiently referencing the fourth empty chair at the table. We scrambled to order and then returned to sharing life. We cried. We laughed. We cried because we were laughing so hard, but most meaningfully, we spoke about how God had been revealing Himself to us in the challenges and blessings of the last few years. We weren't missing anyone. The Lord was at that table. He was in all our stories, all our connections, all our tears, and our laughter.

As I hugged my friends good-bye several times that evening, I couldn't help but give thanks for the Christian life. There is so much more that bonds me to Sean and Andi than simply a similar sense of humor. It's a bond that isn't impacted by time or space. It's a bond in a Person. There is a Person who is always at the table. There is a Friend that reminds us of who we are meant to be and how much we are loved. There is Someone who gives our sorrow meaning and our joy perseverance. There is Someone who will always show up if you invite Him, and He doesn't even need a chair - nor will He eat any of the appetizers. With Sean and Andi, it's easy to recognize the Lord at our table.

As a disciple, am I the first to invite Him to all my tables? How do I introduce Him to my friends who need to know how great He is? As we celebrate the beginning of this new Easter season, let us witness to why we call ourselves Christians, because of a very special Friend we always welcome and expect to be at our table.

by Daniel Cellucci

April 01, 2024

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