Sixth Sunday of Easter 2024

The ancient greeks were very wise, and very often to teach a lesson, they would tell a story. One such story is the sory of Damon & Pythias. They were very good friends, but lived under a very cruel tyrant King, Dionysius of Syracuse. Pythias is accused and charged with plotting against the tyrannical King Dionysius. The king demands that Pythias be executed, and Pythias requests of Dionysius to be allowed to travel home and settle his affairs with his family. Dionysius agrees but said: how can I be sure you will return; then Damon, Pythias’s friend, spoke up, and said if he does not come back, I will die in his place. The king held Damon hostage, and should Pythias not return, be executed in his place. Pythias  left for home.  Unfortunately many things happened,  and he was not back as soon as he had planned. When he did not arrive, everyone thought that he had escaped, so they prepared to execute Damon,  but at the last moment, Pythias came running,  and he and Damon said goodbye for the last time. Dionysius the king, was amazed of their friendship and love and he freed them both. The greeks use this story as an example of friendship and trust. The word friend, is not a word we apply to anybody, we have a lot of acquaintances, but not that many friends.  A friend is faithful, he/she  is someone you can trust and confide in. In today’s gospel,  Jesus calls his disciples friends not servants,  and he tells them that there is no greater love than one who is ready to lay down his life  for his friends.  The next day, he would freely die for his discples, for each.  He died for me he died for you because we are his friends.  That’s what you called each of us, Lord, your name for us the night before you died.  Thanks for your friendship. There are times, Lord, when I feel so bad in myself, ashamed or guilty of the experiences, I’ve got into. Help me then Lord, to hear the words, ‘You are my friend’, and know that I’m right in the middle of your circle of friends. Today let us talk to Jesus about our friendship, let us thank him for being our friend,  and ask him, what kind of friend am I, can he count on me? Am I a true friend of Jesus?  Friendship is a two-way relationship based on trust. Christ has assured us today that he is our friend. Even when we turn away, we know that He cares for us, He’s always at our side with every breath we take. Sometimes we forget God, sometimes we are not his friend, but He is always our Friend. In our busy schedule we sometimes find it hard to find time for this special friend. Of the 10080 minutes we have in our week we sometimes find it very hard to find 30/40 minutes for him. Lord, take me into the circle of your friendship, and let me believe I belong there; in the way I welcome your friendship and live by your word and values. Thanks for being a friend.