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True Friendship and Neighborliness

As I read this morning, my thoughts are on the beauty of friends. Especially Luke, the assumed author here, who apparently went along with Paul of his own free will. Friends and neighbors are such treasure.

"The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs."

Acts 27:3 NIV

"No separation between human and human is an equally powerful notion—and equally challenging.

One of the most familiar of Jesus’s teachings is “Love your neighbor as yourself” [Mark 12:31; Matthew 22:39]. But we almost always hear that wrong. We hear “Love your neighbor as much as yourself.”. . . If you listen closely to Jesus’s teaching however, there is no “as much as” in there. It’s just “Love your neighbor as yourself”—as a continuation of your very own being. It’s a complete seeing that your neighbor is you.

There are not two individuals out there, one seeking to better herself at the price of the other, or to extend charity to the other; there are simply two cells of the one great Life.

Each of them is equally precious and necessary. And as these two cells flow into one another, experiencing that one Life from the inside, they discover that “laying down one’s life for another” [John 15:13] is not a loss of one’s self but a vast expansion of it—because the indivisible reality of love is the only True Self."

Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind—a New Perspective on Christ and His Message (Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, 2008)

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