Jesus heals Simon and Andrew's Mom and many in their hometown. On the next morning, before dawn, he leaves the house to find a quiet place to pray. Simon and Andrew get up and are panicked, not knowing where this peculiar guy is they just found who has done such miraculous things and they "hunted for him". Isn't that an odd word for the Gospel writer to utilize....hunt? They of course find him and want him to return to their village and Jesus says, no, we have to move on......so other people can hunt for him as well.
What do we hunt for in life?
In Holy Women Holy Men, we remember Aelred, the Abbot of Rievaulx, who died in 1167 and was a prolific author. In one of his works he talked about friendship, writing:
There are four qualities which characterize a friend: loyalty, right intention, discretion and patience. Right intention seeks for nothing other than God and natural good. Discretion brings understanding of what is done on a friend's behalf, and ability to know when to correct faults. Patience enables one to be justly rebuked, or to bear adversity on another's behalf. Loyalty guards and protects the friend, in good or bitter times.
It seems to me that many hunt friendship, but don't really know what that relationship means. Aelred's definition is a good one to think on, and incorporate into our relationship-understandings, and perhaps will help focus the hunt. Part of Aelred's definition incorporates an unspoken spiritual side to friendship: a deep well of compassion and emotion and understanding.....and a love that transcends the petty and is rooted in something far more mysterious.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.