Some folks have said that they would lay down their life for their best friend. What is the definition of a best friend? Is it someone who enjoys the same things as you? Is it someone who is has always been there for you? Is it someone who can keep a secret? Or is it someone who will try to defend you against insults? Perhaps an inclusive definition of a best friend would be someone who loves you and truly cares about you?
At a time when being a follower of Jesus was not popular and accepted, Christ charged his friends with the following command: “The harvest indeed is great, but the workers are few. Entreat therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would send out workers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.” [Lk. 10:2,3]
Today, your good friend Jesus is asking you to share His love with others. But not only that, He has asked to you leave your walls of protection behind, lay aside your body piercing armor and go as a defenseless sheep amongst the starving unbelievers, the clever protesters and the infidels of deception. Everything you need will be provided! Christ is your great Shepherd and He says: “I will be with you and aid you, and deliver you from all evil. I will tame the savage beasts; I will change wolves into sheep. I will make the persecutors become the helpers of the persecuted….For I will make and unmake all things, and there is nothing that can resist My will.” [Saint Kyril: Hom. 61, Commentary, Ch. 10, 264.]
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). A true friend is someone you will share a secret with. As we share our woundedness and failures and our living faith with someone it will create a bond and allow Christ-like love to blossom. My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) St. John Chrysostom says: “That is to say, it is I that have made you to be what ye are.”
If you have felt the love of Christ, you cannot keep it a secret! Our faith walk in life must be shared! There is so much brokenness and suffering in this world and the great Sheppard needs you! A sheep by itself is vulnerable to the trickery of the savage beast so it is important that we all cling together. A good sheep follows his Sheppard, giving up this life in the world for the everlasting life in Christ!
How many best friends do you have? Perhaps the measure will be how many friends we have, not on Facebook, but friends recorded in the Book of Life!
He said to him, “Feed My Lambs.” He said to him, “Tend My Sheep.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My Sheep.” (John 21:15-17)
Fr. Gabriel Weller 1-17-16