As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love! You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead, I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
This is my command, that you love one another.
In today’s gospel reading Jesus says something about friendship which is worth reflecting upon. He says to his disciples during the Last Supper: “I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.” In other words, Jesus tell us, true friends are individuals who trust you enough to share with you their most personal secrets and whom you trust enough to share with them your most personal secrets.
Now everybody wants to have friends. But in order to have friends—real friends, not just drinking buddies or shopping sisters—we must deserve to have them. Which means that we must become capable of keeping other people’s secrets, of accepting people as they are, of being willing to share our own dark secrets with others. St. Thomas Aquinas classifies friendship as a virtue. And it sure is, because in true friendship we practice a lot of virtues (i.e. good habits) such as patience, fidelity to our word, forgiveness, kindness, etc. That is why not many people are willing to become friends, because real friendships are so demanding and so painful to our selfishness. But those who accept the rigors of friendship would not exchange them for all the world. They know they have found a treasure.
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