Friends for Life

26 Jul

This cute little fellow, Bambi by name, was a Christmas gift from a coworker and friend. Lucy, whose sense of humor remains unsurpassed, decided I needed to be chided for “killing Bambi.” I was at one time an avid deer hunter. Increasing costs and aching old bones make it all but impossible for me to hunt anymore.

So rest, easy, Lucy. “Bambi” is safe — from me, at least. … Well, who knows?

But this is not about deer hunting or its pros and cons. It’s about friendship, the kind of friendship that lasts on and on and on. I’m happy to say that in our staff at The Florida Catholic, when I was editor and manager, we had a great team, great relationships and strong professional and affectionate bonds.

I know I was their friend — but I was also convinced they were my friends. There is a difference, you know. You can be my friend, but I can fail miserably to be your friend.

I started musing about reciprocal friendship and one-way friendship when I reflected on the words of Jesus at the Last Supper:

“I call you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go out and bear fruit that will remain …” (Jn 15:15b-17).

How often have I failed to be a friend to Jesus, failed to resist temptation, to help a needy person, to work untiringly for the Kingdom. And yet, he has continuously been my Friend, my Savior, my Lord. He has never stopped loving me, forgiving me.

What a great Church we would be if we all were able to live in God’s grace, in reciprocal friendship with him and with one another.

Perhaps that’s why our efforts to bring peace and faith into the world have met with somewhat limited success — we have not truly been friends to those who most need to know God’s love and mercy.

Are our own human friendships— with that sense of hospitality we have with one another, that desire to spend time together — a taste of what reciprocal friendship with God will be like?

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