Little Whispers, Tim Montales

The Real and Divine Definition of a Friend

First Reading
Acts 1: 15 – 17, 20 – 26

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

Let his encampment become desolate,
and may no one dwell in it.

and:
May another take his office.

Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 113: 1 – 8

R. (8) The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.

Gospel
John 15: 9 – 17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
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.”

___________________________________________________________________________________________

lucyannmoll

REFLECTION

“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.” – John 15:14-15

“Friends is a word we use every day
But most of the time we use it in the wrong way
Now you can look the word up again and again
But the dictionary doesn’t know the meaning of friends
Now if you ask me you know I couldn’t be much of help
Because a friend’s somebody you judge for yourself
Some are okay and they treat you real cool
And some mistake kindness for being a fool
We like to be with some because they’re funny
Others come around when they need some money
Some you grew up with around the way
And you still grow close to this very day
Homeboys through the summer, winter, spring and fall
And then there are some we wish we never knew at all
The list goes on again and again
But then these are the people that we call…

Friends, how many of us have been?
Friends, ones we can depend on
Friends, how many of us have them?
Friends, before we go any further

What we’ve just read are the first verse and chorus of Francis Magalona’s “Friends.”

True enough, we habitually use this word in a wrong way, and inject some of our own standards in order to call someone a friend.

We call someone a friend if he or she satisfies our requirements such as being cool, influential, rich, talented, and more. But if that person becomes the complete opposite of what we expect, we dump him or her in our list of friends. Or worse, we call someone a friend, only if we ask for their help whenever we place ourselves in dire straits.

However, we are also victims of the wrong definition of friends as we tend to please others in order to consider us as their friends. And in the end, whenever they are done with us, they will just reject us out of the blue.

But 2,000 years ago, one man became the true and divine definition of a friend through His examples of unconditional love. He even gave us His one and only standard so that He will call us His friends, and that is to follow the will of God the Father. And his defining moment as a true friend manifested through his death on the Cross.

His name – Jesus Christ

There will be times that we will be rejected by our so-called “friends” because we choose to live up to His standards and not to theirs. Yet, we should not fret because God is our real friend who can manifest in various shapes, sizes, and people. He is with us in both our best and worst chapters of our lives for He desires to shape us as His friend.

And from that point, we can become God’s friend and manifest His Love by reaching out to those people who are in need of real and genuine friends from the inside out.

Let’s start becoming His friend by following His will, and become a living witness of His Love for His children. – Tim Montales (tim81288@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He has established the real and divine definition of what a friend should be. May we continue to follow You even if the world rejects us, and forever cling to Your promise that we are Your Friends. May we never cease to do good, and become a manifestation of You to those who are lost and in need of real friends. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Can you be a true friend to others like Jesus?

Photo source: http://www.lucyannmoll.com

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