According to all of my social media sites, I have about 500+ “friends”. Taking out the ones that are repeated in multiple places, it narrows it down to about 325. Swipe it down even further to exclude family, I have about 200 “friends”. That’s a lot for me, considering I am not the most outgoing person in the world, and to be honest, I am not one to strike up a random conversation in a crowd… at least without a little help from alcohol. I am not a hermit, but I am not overly energetic to make new acquaintances. So, I know every one of these 200 people and the history of how we met. This is mainly because the people on this list has been in my life for some reason at some point in time, and I don’t forget that. I don’t know if anyone else is like me in that respect, but all my relationships are special, and I would hate to ever forget that.

Yesterday’s Gospel reading was from the book of John Chapter 15 Verses 12 – 17:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

After reading this, it really struck home for me the value of friends. The list that I have now, it would have been larger if I only realized this sooner. To truly have a friendship or any relationship for that matter is to really, wholeheartedly and faithfully, follow the words in this passage… love one another. I can only pray that I do not take any of these relationships for granted in the future.

I can see how the world can be on fire sometimes, because we have a tendency as humans to forget to love each other. If it is brought on by complacency, habits, forgetfulness, or even our inability to want to understand another persons’ point of view, losing sight of the love of others for any reason causes great sorrow and hurt. It is so simple, yet so hard at the same time. We build walls to a point where we don’t want to understand the other side. Today I pray for peace and understanding in the world, and for healing of the misunderstandings that are keeping us from truly loving one another.

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