“That day Herod and Pilate became friends--before this they had been enemies.” (Lk 23:12)

This passage, which relates how Herod and Pilate formed a friendship when they collaborated in leading Christ to His cross, holds a simple message for me: Not all friendships are good. Both these men were on the wrong side of the story of the Cross, and it is precisely this that brought them together, as friends. They “enabled” each other, as participants in the trials that led to His crucifixion.

So let me say I should be careful about the friendships I form and foster, at the risk of making this reflection too morose. Some friendships can put me on the wrong side of the Cross, that is to say, “enable” me or someone else to cast it off, while I am attempting to be, in my own small way, a co-carrier of His cross. I don’t need to “judge” anyone else’s journey, but I do need to see situations and relationships honestly, with God’s help. Otherwise I end up seeing myself as a "victim" of other people’s choices, expectations, or vision.

So I don’t go around judging everyone today, but I also don’t need to embrace everyone’s friendship. I am obliged to “love” everyone. I don’t need to be “like” everyone, however, nor be friends with them.

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