Holy Friendship

Homily for the Memorial of St. Ambrose

Over the last few days now, I’ve really been reflecting on this idea of friendship – but not just any type friendship, I’m talking about holy friendships. We all have those people in our lives who care so deeply for us that we almost become family to them. In fact, in many ways, we do become family. In my own life, the Lord has blessed me tremendously with a few of these types of friends. People I know that I can rely on and who love me and support me for just being me.

These are the people who are there for us at every important life moment. They celebrate the joyous occasions with us, accompany us through the tragedies, challenge us to improve, pray for us when we’re struggling, care for us when we’re hurting, and laugh with us when we need it. They allow us to be ourselves. In an extraordinary way, they are simply Christ for us. Or, in the very least, they point us toward Him. In our Gospel today, we have a perfect example of a gentleman who has been blessed with several holy friends who literally bring him to Jesus.

There was no way that the paralyzed man in this passage from Luke was going to be able to bring himself to Jesus to be healed. His friends, on the other hand, had such a deep sense of faith that if they could simply get him to see Jesus, that the Lord would heal him. In the process of attempting to make that a reality, they ran into problem after problem. The crowds were too large for them to get through, so what did they do? They went up to the roof, ripped a hole in the ceiling, and lowered the man down in front of Jesus. They were absolutely determined that Jesus was going to heal their friend. And he did.

After hearing this story, the question that we can ask is: who are those people in my life who would do that for me? As we think about those friends, have we thanked the Lord for them and the great example of faith that they are to us? If we can’t identify any friends that would do that for us, maybe this is an invitation from the Lord to rethink some of our friendships.

The world is only getting crazier and crazier as each day passes. Because of that, we all need to surround ourselves with people who are going to be good examples of faith for us. We need to surround ourselves with people who are going to point us to Jesus. But we also need to be those examples of faith for others. So, as we go throughout our day today, let’s reflect on these things. Who are the friends in my life who point me to Jesus….and am I willing to be the same for others?

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

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