Friendship is mutual goodwill and love of two persons who accept each other in a profound manner in view of reciprocal growth. “To be friend is to be yourself for another person,” said the Scottish philosopher John Mac Murray. In friendship, one shares one’s inner most thoughts and feelings with the other. Friendship is a loving commitment of two or more persons. It begins when two or more individuals discover that they have something in common. So friendship is an open, trusting, abiding and reciprocal relationship of affection often based on common interests.
Friendship is one of the greatest gifts human being can receive. It promotes care, concern and understanding. It also helps us grow in self-knowledge. In friendship, we discover not only our friends but increasingly more about our own selves. Friends motivate us to expand our outlook on life. They challenge us to grow in our ability to trust. It guarantees happiness and joy in the midst of the worst tribulations. Friends help us experience love and mutual acceptance. Friendship involves presence-both physical presence and presence of mind. It requires perseverance because it is a never-ending, ever-growing relationship.
The book of Sirach 6:10 and 14 says a faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, and those who fear the Lord will find one. The faithful friend is a secure refuge; whoever has found one has found a treasure. Jesus shared himself with his friends saying, “I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father”(Jn 15:15) Jesus also had special friends, like Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Among the disciples too Jesus has special friends like Peter, James and John. The friendship of Jesus was based on purity of intention. He did not expect anything in return from his friends except their love and loyalty. In times of trial and tribulation, Jesus was present to support them. He proved the depth of his friendship by giving up his own life for his friends. Look at the list of Jesus’ friends. They were mainly from the lower strata of society who would not be able to repay him for the good he had done them. A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.