Who is your best friend on earth?  

In whom do you confide?  To whom do you tell your most private thoughts and feelings?  You have noticed, I am sure, that self-revelation from one person usually invites self-revelation from the other person too.  One person’s opening up, with trust and truth, results oftentimes in a reciprocal response.  Relationships grow mutually; or they do not grow at all.   Relationship requires reciprocity.

What characterizes communication that results in deep relationships?  Some ingredients include time, trust, honesty, agreeing, disagreeing, compassion, sharing common values and some common experiences, courage to say what needs to be said, and faithfulness in being and doing what is best for your friend.   Both people need to profit from the relationship; both need to feel joy and contentment.  We all desire to be and to have a best friend. 

What I have just said about our best friends on earth, may be applied to developing a best friendship status with God.  Our friendships on earth can serve as an analogy for our friendship with God.   I remember reading in a grade school classroom, “To have a friend, be a friend.”

Reflect on how much God loves us.  The Genesis reading reflects on the goodness of all creation, and God’s most important creatures: men and women.  He needs us to, “fill the earth and subdue it.”  Exodus tells us that God saved his people from slavery at Egypt, for which Moses and his people proclaimed: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is gloriously triumphant.”  The prophet Isaiah asks on behalf of God: “Why do you people spend your money for what is not bread, for what does not satisfy, for what does not last?  God re-directs saying, “Come to me, listen [to me], that you might have life.”  An angel in St. Mark’s gospel assures Mary Magdalene and other women, “Jesus has been raised.”  The women had been grieving over the death of Jesus, their best friend.  Imagine the women’s joy when they realized that Jesus had resurrected.  St. Paul reminds us, “Just as Jesus was raised from the dead,” we too will have a newness of life.  Reflect on how much God’s limitless love for us. 

In our relationship with God, God desires that we draw close to him, and that we become best friends with him.  God desires reciprocity in our relationship with us.  God offers us a share in his divine truth when we listen to his word in the Scriptures, in the Church’s teachings, and in the lives of the saints.  God offers a sacramental share in his love when we receive each of the seven sacraments.  In quiet communal or private prayer before God, Our Lord offers us a perception of his mercy, kindness, his sensitivity to the poor and the outcast.  He wants us to receive and share that same Spirit, his spirit.

We all know from personal experience what it takes to become best friends with someone.  This Easter, let’s apply those behaviors to becoming best friends with God.

Read other homilies by Father O'Malley