The Greek word for “friends” used here in the Gospel is philoi, from philein that means “to love.” Hence, a friend is not just a close companion, someone with whom we share meals and spend time together, and someone who is an equal or similar in class and character. A friend is a “beloved,” someone truly loved.
The friendship that Jesus manifests at the “hour” of his passion and death ennobles and saves. Jesus reverses the role of servant and master. He becomes a servant and washes his disciples’ feet that they may have part with him, that they may be elevated to the honor of friends. As a result, at Jesus’ resurrection, the Father of Jesus has become the Father of the disciples; Jesus’ God has also become their God (cf Jn 20:17). That is why the risen Jesus calls the disciples even more than friends—“my brothers” (Jn 20:17).
“There are friends who bring ruin, but there are true friends more loyal than a brother” (Prv 18:24). What kind of “friend” are you?
Gospel • JOHN 15:12-17
Jesus said to his disciples: “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.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.