The Love Of Friends

He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end.  John 13:1

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESZack’s good friend moved to Texas last year. Fortunately, Zack has made some new friends since; but that hole is still there. I know how he feels.

I too have made some wonderful friends over the years, several of whom have been soulmates. But inevitably, life has taken a few of them elsewhere. My consolation has been letter writing. Believe it or not, I still have several old-school pen pals. I LOVE getting their handwritten letters in my mailbox, catching me up on their lives. But at the end of the day, there is no substitute for time spent in the physical company of good friends.

Today is Holy Thursday. It’s a day to remember the last Passover meal Jesus celebrated with His Apostles. The ritual He performed that evening is now the high point of the The Mass.

When I used to hear, “Do this in memory of Me,” I always focused on the miraculous aspect of the Consecration. It amazes me to think Jesus gave the Apostles, and now our priests, the grace to transform the bread into His body, and the wine into His blood. What I never focused on was the human side of what Jesus was saying.

For three years, Jesus spent morning, noon and night with His Apostles. They did everything with each other, and for each other. Like we all know from our college days, when you spend that much time with people, the bonds grow deep. I think Jesus loved His Apostles even before He chose them; but sharing all that time, and all those experiences together, wove the Apostles into the very fibers of His heart.

Reflecting on that has me seeing things in a whole new light. In the past, I looked at His time in the Garden of Gethsemane from just one perspective. When Jesus asked God to take away His cup, I thought He was only asking God to spare Him the physical pain of the crucifixion. Now I see that request overlaid with an emotional piece as well: to be spared the separation from His friends. Of course He knew He’d always be with them in spirit, and would appear to them in the flesh a few times after His resurrection, but never again would He be with them like before.

I now think when He said, “Do this in memory of Me,” He was also saying, “Please remember me. Please remember our deep love and connection. Remember our friendship and all the memories we shared. Remember how it was, and how good we had it together. Remember me as your forever friend.”

There is so much more to Jesus’ sacrifice than I ever realized. I was grateful before; but realizing just how much He gave up for me has me indebted to Him like never before.

Questions For Reflection:

     * Do I often stop and appreciate the friendships I have, and how much they impact my life?

     * Do I recognize that as a human being, Jesus’ friendships meant just as much to Him?

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6 thoughts on “The Love Of Friends

  1. Claire, thank you for broadening my perception of Holy Thursday. I never thought of it in that way, but it makes so much sense! You never cease to amaze me with your insight. I’m learning so much from you, God bless you. xoxo

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    • I never thought of it that way either, Mom, until this morning. When I read today’s scripture passage with John 13:1 and then Jesus washing His disciples’ feet, it all clicked together for me. I imagined Him pouring out His love onto the their feet along with the water.

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  2. Thanks, Claire, for this unique insight. This really hit home for me. Bringing to light Jesus’ struggle with having to say goodbye to His dear friends is a good reminder of how much He understands and comforts us as we experience similar struggles.

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  3. I don’t know if I would have made it through some of my rougher life patches in one piece if my friends hadn’t been alongside of me, propping me up. Friendship and community is a gift from God. I love your reminder that Jesus, as a man while also being God, was intentionally relational.

    I know your son won’t forget his friend (nor will that friend forget your son), but I hope that both are doing well. It’s hard when a friend moves away!!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Robin. Your quote about friendship and community being a gift from God, sums it all up beautifully. For those of you who haven’t visited Robin’s blog yet, it is a wonderful place to gain inspiration and wisdom. You can visit it at: http://www.robinkramerwrites.com. Enjoy!

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