Fr Dominic
Parish Priest

In the middle years of the nineteenth century a clergyman named Charles Kinsley was the personal chaplain to Queen Victoria. He was a man she greatly admired. The story is told that one day she asked him the secret of his beautiful life. To which he replied , “I had a friend.” Most of us would not think of describing our lives as beautiful. We would probably be embarrassed if someone else should do so. But we would doubtless agree with Charles Kinsley that whatever beauty there is within us is largely attributable to our friends. People who believed in us and cared about us helped to bring out the best that there was in us. Today’s Gospel reading tells of the time when Jesus described his relationship with his disciples as a friendship. It was the night before his death. He has already eaten his last meal. With the cross only hours away he said “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Then he became more personal and specific; saying to his disciples, “You are my friends.” So even in the life of Our Lord, friendship played a positive role. It was a part of the strength that enabled him to face the cross with unfailing courage and uncompromised honour.
Some of you here are married or in long term relationships. You have many things in common. You share the same residence. You have joint banking. You have children that together you brought into the world. But are you building or have built a friendship? No marriage or partnership is all that it can be until it has grown into a friendship. For those of you who are parents you play many parts; provider, protector, playmate, nurse, disciplinarian. Each of those functions is a necessary part of child rearing. But the overall objective is a friendship. Fortunate is the person who can say, “My Father, My Mother, my son, my daughter is one of my best friends”
Friendship will always demand sacrifice if it is to be mutual. To have a friend you must always be a friend.