We are familiar with the story of two soldiers who were intimate friends. When the news came to their camp that one of them was wounded seriously and lying in the battle field, his friend sought the permission of their commander to bring the wounded colleague back from the field. But the commander knew that it is a risk not worth taking as the soldier would be dead by then. He was not in favor of sending his boy on the risky mission of bringing the body of a dead soldier from the battle ground, that was by then under the total control of enemies. But he was aware of the close friendship these two soldiers shared and so in spite of his reservations, allowed the soldier to go in search of his friend. After a few hours he returned with the motionless body of his friend.
Seeing them, the commander said, ‘I told you it was of no worth. He is dead’. To this the soldier replied; ‘ No Sir, it was really worth. He breathed his last in my hands and his last words were, ‘I knew you would come’.
The story ends here. We read it with moist eyes and appreciate the true love that compelled this soldier to go in search of his wounded friend braving all risks. We highlight this story as an example of true friendship. Then we simply forget it and go our business as usual.
Do we ever think of a wounded man waiting for his friends to visit him? His battle was for us and he is still suffering. Every time we approach the Eucharistic Lord, he whispers, ‘I knew you would come’. When he uttered the words, ‘I thirst’, he was telling us of the thirst for souls that would continue till the moment of his second coming. Those who are friends with Jesus hasten to meet him every morning. Jesus knows that nothing would prevent them from visiting him if their friendship with him is strong. Every time we cross the portals of a church, he appreciates our efforts in reaching there braving all odds, be it an inclement weather, or a doubting family.
Obstacles are no reason to prevent the flow of love, if it is towards a true friend. And the epitome of love is found in giving up one’s life for his friend. Jesus did it for us, for we are his friends. So Jesus has every right to tell us that ‘there is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15:13). To dispel any doubts as to his relation with us, Jesus added, ‘I do not call you servants any longer……. But I have called you friends’ (Jn 15:15).
Our friend Jesus has proved his love towards us. Now it is our turn to prove that we too love him. Let us rush to our Lord every morning who is wounded in the battle to win our souls. Every time we visit Jesus, tune our hearts to hear the loving whisper of Jesus. “ I knew you would come’