In today’s first reading, we hear about the amazing power of spiritual friendship, through the lens of the relationship of Jonathan and David. If it were not for Jonathan, Saul would have murdered David, if not in the story we heard today, then in many other occasions that we read in the books of Samuel. This was just the beginning, it was only going to get worse. The Lord’s rejection of Saul would drive him to madness, and, as many insecure people do, he would do everything possible to sabotage the one who was making him look bad.
But Jonathan’s intervened, and made some good points about the fact that David risked his life for Saul, and that Saul delighted in the victory David won for him. Because of Jonathan’s intervention, Saul’s anger was tempered, and David lived to become king.
Now, note that I’m not just extolling friendship alone here. I think we can agree that friendship is a good thing, even a gift. But I said this reading was about the amazing power of spiritual friendship. Spiritual friendship has its basis in God’s grace, and is a special gift from God. A spiritual friendship is a kind of companionship in which the companions, in their affection for one another, lead each other to God. Jonathan and David did that in many ways, and the fruit of that was that Jonathan protected David’s vocation to be king. Spiritual friends do that – they always bring out the best in each other; they help each other become what God created them to be.
Spiritual friendship is a very special gift, and it involves two people who have a strong relationship with God and an understanding that love means willing the good of the other. If you have a spiritual friendship, it’s a very great blessing. Give your friendships some prayerful thought today; pause and be grateful for those who have been spiritual friends to you. Think of those who have helped you become who you are; those whose encouragement has brought you closer to God. May God bless those who have been a blessing to us.