If even Jesus made Himself in need of friends, who are we to think we can do without them?
Today’s readings can be found here.
Martha, Mary, and Lazarus are Jesus’ friends. I think there’s no better title by which to remember them than precisely that of friends.
The Gospel brings up these three friends several times, and it’s nice to be able to say that friendship with Jesus is not only manifested at the table as they celebrate a joy that Jesus will use to correct Martha’s compulsive busyness: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
It also manifests itself in grief when the death of their brother Lazarus throws both sisters into near despair: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
It almost seems as if the Gospel wants to tell us that friends are not such only when the sun is shining, nor only when it is dark, but friends are truly friends when they’re somehow always there, in every season of our lives.
In fact, friendship is one of God’s favorite ways of manifesting His love for each of us. Without friends this life can be unbearable. If even Jesus made Himself in need of friends, who are we to think we can do without them?
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.