The Word of God

Reflection – Lectionary: 315

This is a great day to reflect upon the intrinsic and deep relationship between what it means to have good, close, and encouraging friends, the freedom it takes to maintain those friendships, and the faith in Jesus that makes us friends with Him. “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” Review once again what is being taught to us today in the letter to the Hebrews. A New Covenant of promise, hope, and eternal life is offered to humanity. This relationship between God and His Word causes us to gush over how we deal with each other, especially our enemies. In many ways, you can tell how great a friend will be to the extent that he or she can forgive and show compassion. This is certainly true with those who live for the Kingdom of God.

This element is underscored in the Gospel of today: Jesus knew that one of the Apostles He would choose would eventually betray Him, and still, in perfect freedom, he asked Him to follow Him, that is, be His friend anyway: “He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him…and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.” The application for us today is simply stunning. For love to grow within any relationship, there must be faith in the One who is love and the only One who will sustain that love until eternity, and especially for the grace both to forgive and show mercy. What is also remarkable is that love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion never leave us empty-handed or return with nothing. It is a classic “win-win” situation: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.” Elie Wiesel

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