Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“Let me now sing of my friend.” As years pass, we seem to continue to lose sight of the true meaning and concept of friendship as a trustworthy, reliable individual who is much more than a confidant but also someone committed to stand by us in the greatest celebrations and under the worst circumstances and situations. Friendship is rapidly losing its meaning and perhaps has already lost its truest intent. We allow our friends to be those who favor our online content and like our postings. The notion of friendship is reduced to a membership we hold, value dearly and maintain only through technological settings or social media platforms. However, we remain thankful that what was true in the Old Testament about friendship is true in our New Testament experiences. Scripture invites us to consider it is not enough to say my close, dear, or even best friend. The bible uses the word faithful to help describe the true nature of friendship. “Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price, no amount can balance their worth. Faithful friends are life-saving medicine; those who fear God will find them.” Meaning, a faithful friend is built on a solid relationship that is able to withstand even the most terrible and frightening situations. A faithful friend cannot be purchased or bought or paid for but rather is more valuable than the world’s most priceless gem and considered a true treasure. True friends are life giving and life saving. Praise God. Jesus shows us the depth and the heart of true friendship and the model for being and having faithful friends. He says, “no one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus calls us friends because he wills only what is good and right for us under the loving gaze and assistance of God and what would be truly helpful in maintaining a true and honest friendship and relationship with him. Jesus goes on to say, “I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” This is the heart of friendship. To know and come to believe and understand the depth of God’s love for us, the mercy he has bestowed upon us in his beloved Son, and the eternal breath of life he has poured into our hearts and lungs through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Beloved, we are God’s children now. He has befriended us for life. This is the song we sing.