What would you do for a friend? Does it depend on what a friend asks for? Most of us are quick to do a favor for a friend when the favor doesn’t cost us much, but balk when what a friend needs from us is outside our comfort zone. While we might think that the things outside of our comfort zone involve requests for money, oftentimes that is not the case. It really shouldn’t surprise us, since money is one of the easiest and cheapest means of offering help. What most often is a stumbling block for us are requests for more of our time. Sadly, we tend to be miserly with the one thing that makes the biggest difference in the lives of our friends, our time and attention.
In today’s gospel, Jesus instructs us on what it means to be a true friend by God’s standards. It’s a teaching that likely is a wake-up call for all of us.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
Can we lay down our life, our comfort, our resources, and our heart for our sisters and brothers in Christ?