“…I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” (John 15:15b RSV)
Who do you reveal your heart to? Surely, to a friend who knows you, whom you trust. Jesus here tells us that he considers us friends. He reveals his heart to us, to his friends. This is the heart of the Trinity, the love and wisdom which created the universe and holds all things in existence. His longing for connection with us is so great that he withholds nothing from us. He does not stand apart from our human condition, our human frailties, but enters deeply, intimately into them in order to assure us of his complete understanding of us. He even tells us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16). These are awesome things to ponder, things difficult to actually comprehend.
Why would Jesus treat us as his friends? Jesus seems to risk a great deal in entrusting himself to us and treating us as friends; we have failed him in the past and are likely to do so in the future. We have betrayed him, denied him, failed him utterly over and over. He can hardly be assured that we will treat the gift of his wholehearted friendship with the care it deserves. It is because he is Love itself – unselfish, merciful, wondrously humble and generous. He has counted the cost and already paid the price of having his heart broken. Yet he deems the possibility of our eternal salvation and happiness worth the risk.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves what our response is to this great gift. Do we open our own hearts to him in return, speaking openly, frankly, regularly with him in prayer, trusting that he wants to hear our questions, our worries, our longings? Do we truly give him an opportunity to speak to us, attentive to what he has to say by seeking to know him better and better in Scripture which is, after all, his best way of communicating with us? Are we willing to find out what (and whom) he cares about and figure out how to share his concerns?
In other words, will we trust him? Will we let him into our hearts, the deepest parts of ourselves? Do we want the friendship he offers to us enough to actually pursue it? He’s eager and waiting for us to respond. Lord, make me better able to receive the offer of your intimate friendship and respond with my own!