Today at Catholic masses around the world, the gospel reading from John featured Jesus and a Samaritan woman at a well. The priest at my church gave a brief homily with a great point. A point that I think anyone—regardless of faith or with no faith at all—can relate to.
The priest referred to Jesus as befriending the woman. With that, he then tried to relate friends and water, seeking an analogy.
As he continued to work toward the analogy, he mentioned teaching a class to first graders and asking about what water brings. One of the kids answered, “The gift of life.” “Very true,” said the priest in his homily. That gave him the lead in he needed for the analogy.
So, he turned to talking about friends. Not a list of hundreds of friends on social media. But dear friends who have changed our lives. Perhaps there is no friend to whom each of us owes the gift of life, but each of us has friends who have made an impact on our lives or who have changed our lives.
That allowed the priest to encourage us to be just as thankful for those friends as we are for other gifts in our lives. People matter. We should acknowledge that they matter. We should tell them that they matter. Finally, we should work to be gifts for others as much as they are gifts to us. Not just remotely and by emails and texts. Rather, let friends hear us and visit when we can. That level of friendship and the gift it brings deserves the attention that can only happen in person or in real time conversation.
These are words of wisdom that I know inspire me, and I’d hope would be inspiring to all.