By his sojourn among us, Christ has become our divine companion on our Journey through life. By laying down his life for us, He has established a strong and blessed tie of friendship with every person. He is neither a dream nor an imaginary being created by our mind because he become incarnate and now dwells among us. He is genuinely the ever “living” person in the world. Though now physically invisible, we cannot see Him with our eyes nor feel Him with our hand, yet He is our support and strength at every stage of our earthly pilgrimage. His power is our life, His spirit sustains existence and His friendship is our happiness. St Paul discovered this truth and confessed: “Christ lives in me” (Gal 2; 20).
The question then arises what kind of friendship is found in Christ? Or is there any personality in a man physically absent? In Christ there is an ideal friendship. Here is a God who left His heavenly Kingdom for his friends. In His humanity, He is filled with tenderness and care to sympathize with our human misery. In His divinity, there is an immense treasury of gifts capable of filling us with infinite riches. Therefore, His friendship is incomparable with that of a dearest person in the world. There are many wonderful qualities of friendship in Him. It is not uncommon that some humans are loved by their enemies and hated by their friends. While others are friends of their enemies and enemies of their friends. But Christ is the only person that is properly worth that name “friend”. He said in the scriptures I call you friends”. By his nature as God he cannot hate his creatures. By his nature as a saviour, he cannot deceive what he has come to save. And by his nature as human, he cannot detest mankind that he took human form for. So, Christ is an everlasting friend. My brothers and sisters, Christ Jesus is a friend, a companion, a confidant, the intimate one, a healer, an advocate, a defender, a patron, etc in this existential life. Let us examine some qualities of a friend in him.
CHRIST THE TRUFUL FRIEND
Every friendship that lasts is built on certain durable materials. The first of these is truthfulness. If I cannot look into the eyes of my friend and speak out always the truthful thought and feeling with the simplicity of a little child, there can be no lasting friendship between us. Trust is the first requisite for making a friend, and faithfulness is the first ingredient for keeping him. But trust and faithfulness cannot endure without truthfulness.
At the completion of his work, Christ Jesus declared himself the way, the truth, and the life (John 14; 6). He meets and mingles with people with quiet simplicity and humility. There is no sign of hypocrisy, artificiality or pretence in Him; but only the truth and nothing but the truth. He clearly told Pilate that he came into the world to bear witness to the truth (Jn 18; 37). In his mission, He never spared any man in his message of truth. The evils and hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, He forcefully and fearlessly rebukes. In fact Christ is a man of truth who loves truth and truthful men and women. Everyone who is on the side of the truth hears his voice (Jn 18; 31).
The truth in Christ sets his friends free (Jn8; 32). With dedicate conscience rooted in Christ (the truth) one can sweetly take his rest since his heart reprehends him not (Prov. 3; 21).
CHRIST OUR LISTENING FRIEND
On my existential journey through life, I have discovered that the best and the closest friends are those who wisely spend time talking and listening to each other. They care with a friend to listen, one`s disaster and problems change colour. In such a discussion, a good friend strives to lift up, not to cast down, to encourage, not discouraging. His speech builds up and not destroys helps and not hinders. This reveals that they understand and trust each other and wish each other heartily well.
With Christ, we have a friend who will not only listen to our problems and considers our afflictions but He is aware of our most ardent desire and has the power to lift up, encourage, help and strengthens us.
As Jesus was setting out on his journey again, a man ran up, knelt before him. He patiently listened to his question and patiently answered his need (Mk 10; 17-22).When Nicodemus came to him by night with his own barrage of questions, He listened and explained the mystery of divine revelation to him (Jn. 3; 1-21).
Moreover, there is no blessing of life that is in any way comparable to the enjoyment of a discreet and familiar conversation with Christ in prayer. He eases and unloads the mind, clears and improves the understanding, engenders thought and knowledge, maintains virtue and good resolution and makes you find meaning with life.
Finally, the language of friendship is not word but meaning. It is intelligence above language. One imagines endless conversation with his friend; in which the tongue shall be loosened and the thought be spoken without hesitancy or end. But the experience is far greater in the case of Christ. With his spirit of joy that abides fervently with his friends in conversation, one is transported to the foretaste of the heavenly happiness. As the discourse graduates into intimacy, He makes things new in our lives.