No one has (οὐδεῖς ἔχει) greater love than this, to lay down one’s life (τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ, one’s soul) for one’s friends.” (Jn 15: 13)

Here is one of the salvific (salvation-bringing) virtues I don’t contemplate often enough, – being a true friend, willing to go all the way for my “friends,” even when this somehow jeopardises my “life” or “soul.” Our Lord values this kind of self-offering and self-forgetting “love,” above all other kinds.

So let me not hesitate today, to be a real friend to my friends. The concept of being a “friend” may seem to be trivialised and denigrated today, on social media, where we have “friends,” for example, on Facebook, whom we don’t even know. But, to my mind, our present-day, Internet-reality, visited upon us not without God’s will, demonstrates His increased trust in us, as more sophisticated Christians at this point in Salvation History, to exercise our capacity for self-offering friendship. So let us be self-offering and self-forgetting in our interactions with both offline and online “friends,” laying down our very “soul” for them, when need be. It doesn’t go unnoticed by our One-and-Only Judge, Who is not one of the merely-human opinions that evaluate us here, often uncharitably, but an ever-more merciful One, Who is in heaven.

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