For One’s Friends — Tuesday, 3rd Week of Easter

Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, [than] to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Have you ever wondered if that’s true? Is that really the greatest love? Wouldn’t it be greater for someone to lay down their life for their enemies? No, for I tell to you that no one can do this. It is impossible to lay down your life for an enemy. You can only lay down your life for people you love.

St. Stephen, like the Savior he followed, loved those who killed him. Stephen’s murders hated him, but he did not hate them in return. He was their enemy, but they were not his. Stephen loved them enough to challenge and correct them, but this made them very angry. Before dying, Stephen said, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” He was acting with mercy, generosity, and prayer in imitation of Jesus Christ, his role-model.

In this community, I do not feel that we are plagued with the disease of hatred: hatred for others, hatred for classmates, or hatred for God. But I do fear that we are infected by indifference: indifference towards each other, indifference towards those in need, and indifference towards God. I challenge you: in the past week what have you done to be more merciful, more generous, or more prayerful?

St. Stephen had mercy, generosity, and prayers for those who hated him. St. Augustine wrote that if it had not been for this, that young man named Saul who was guarding the cloaks, consenting to the execution, would not have later converted to become St. Paul, the great apostle. If St. Stephen overcame hatred and did this, imagine what overcoming our indifference could do?

We may not necessarily have to die as bloodied martyrs, like St. Stephen did, but Jesus asks each of us to lay down our lives for our friends.


One Response to “For One’s Friends — Tuesday, 3rd Week of Easter”

  1. Katie Reigel Says:

    I like this homily!!!

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