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This painting of the crucified Jesus being surrounded by his beloved mother Mary and his beloved disciple John drawn from from the passion narrative of the Gospel of John speaks volumes.

At the hour of our trial and persecutions. At the hour of need. At the hour of our rejection by world standards. When we are distressed two persons are always available at our side: the love of the mother (family) and the support of a true friend.

A mother never abandons his own child. A true friend journeys with you, comforts you and seeks your good at all times.

The love of a mother transcends human comprehension. It is a mystery. A mother loves till the very end. In the bad times and in good times. A mother’s love reflects the love of the Father in Luke’s parable of the prodigal son.

A true friend is not a praise or hosanna singer. He is not one who congratulates you in front and castigates you behind. He watches your back and makes sure you are fine.

A true friend becomes part of your family. He doesn’t abscond when trouble comes. Together with a loving mother, a true friend exhausts all available options to find solution to your problems and misfortunes.

May our world be filled with the true love of a mother and a friend. The meeting of the crucified Jesus, Mary his mother and John the beloved under the foot of cross has still so many lessons to teach us about love and friendship.

Love is friendship…

Friendship is sacrifice…

Love is selfgiving…

You cannot love without first of all being friends…


Valentine Umoh