St. Peter's Square during the Regina Caeli on Sunday, May 5, 2024 (Riccardo Antimiani/Ansa)

“I do not call you servants any longer, but friends”

Pope Francis' words at the Regina Caeli last Sunday. St. Peter's Square, May 5, 2024.
Pope Francis

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today the Gospel tells us about Jesus who says to the Apostles: “I do not call you servants any longer, but friends” (cf Jn 15:15). What does this mean?

In the Bible the “servants” of God are special people, to whom He entrusts important missions, such as, for example, Moses (cf. Ex 14:31), King David (cf. 2 Sam 7:8), the prophet Elijah (cf. 1 Re 18:36), up to the Virgin Mary (cf. Lk 1:38). They are people in whose hands God places His treasures (cf. Mt 25:21). But all of this is not enough, according to Jesus, to say who we are for Him, it is not enough: He wants more, something greater, that goes beyond goods and plans themselves: it takes friendship.

Since childhood we learn how beautiful this experience is: we offer friends our toys and the most beautiful gifts; then, growing up, as teenagers, we confide our first secrets to them; as young people we offer loyalty; as adults we share satisfactions and worries; as seniors we share the memories, considerations and silences of long days. The Word of God, in the Book of Proverbs, tells us that “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel” (27:9). Let us think a moment of our friends, and thank the Lord for them! A space for thinking about them… [...]

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