Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Acts 15:22-31; John 15:12-17)
In his book The Four Loves C.S. Lewis sees friendship as grossly undervalued in modern times. He writes that the ancients considered friendship as “the happiest and most fully human of all loves.” In contrast, he comments that moderns have trouble seeing friendship as a love at all. Friendship, according to Lewis, is sharing personally and fully over common interests. By no means does he equate friendship with regular companionship, however. Rather he indicates that one would be blessed to have only two or three friendships in her entire life. So it is remarkable that in today’s gospel Jesus calls all his disciples’ friends.
But, of course, it is not the case that the twelve or so men gathered around Jesus the night before he died exhaust the list of his friends. Really all serious followers of Jesus become his friends because they share the same desire to know God. In order to reach this goal Jesus has revealed that they have to keep his commandment of love.
We should see the purpose of our lives as having God for our friend. The grace of the Incarnation is that He took on human flesh to overcome the impasse that our bodily nature posed from knowing Him. He has become one like us. We can know him as an ever-caring, ever-helpful friend.