Friday, May 8, 2015

Are you a loving friend to your friends? - Daily Reflections May 8,2015

I am amazed at people who have remained friends for a long time. A common custom here in the Philippines is to keep in touch with childhood friends. Friends are like members of the family. This friendship is a rare treasure indeed.
       The story of Maximilian Kolbe is an inspiring story of sacrificial love and friendship. A prisoner had escaped from the notorious concentration camps in Auschwitz. As an act of punishment, men were chosen at random to take the place of the escaped criminal in the gas chambers. When one man was chosen by the soldiers, he begged for his release because he had wife and family at home. At this point, Fr. Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan priest, moved forward and took the place of the young father. Fr. Kolbe was driven to the gas chambers, thus saving the life of the other man. Jesus says in the Gospel: “No man can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.”
       Friendship is a gift from the Lord. The wise sage in Proverbs advises that to gain a friend is a treasure indeed. Friends who will stand by you in tough times are hard to come by, but they do exist. It is a matter of begging the Lord in His wisdom and love to seek out these friends that will persevere in relationships.
       The basis of our catechesis is to love, serve and honor God and to be with Him forever in heaven. How can we love God whom we cannot see? The answer lies in the command of Jesus: Love one another. St. John teaches that when we love our neighbor, we are showing our love for God. This sounds very simple, yet perhaps the most difficult at times. Jesus asks us to love, to the point of death, in imitation of Him who has loved us and gave Himself for us. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you a loving friend to your friends?
Lord, help us to love one another as You have loved us — to the end. Amen.

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