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SHARING FRIENDSHIP

Father Francis's picture
Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

St. Basil and St. Gregory were both bishops and great teachers in the Church. They lived in the fourth century and believed and taught the same faith that we hold today. They share the same feast day because they were the closest of friends, brought together by their intense desire to know as much as possible about God. St. Gregory wrote, "Our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians."

As Bishops their whole mission was to draw people to Jesus. They illustrate for us today that being a follower of Christ means sharing in a community of believers. We do not walk alone in our journey to God. Rather we progress with others, just as we come to Holy Communion in company with those who share our faith. Jesus calls us all to help each other by good example, by mutual encouragement, by and our readiness to help in any kind of need.

Because Basil and Gregory were such close friends it gives us the opportunity to think about friendship. A true friend is someone who shares your joys and sorrows, who is a comfort to spend time with, who offers understanding when life is difficult, whose smile is enough to brighten any day, who is glad that you are you, who forgets mistakes and is supportive and trustworthy. If you have a true friend, you have a priceless treasure.

St. Basil had something to say about sharing, and I would like to leave you with this quotation from his writings,
"The bread that you do not use is the bread of the hungry.
The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of one who is naked.
The shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of one who is barefoot.
The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor.
The acts of charity you do not perform are so many injustices you commit.”

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