Jesus, help me to really be there for the friends who get me, just like they’re there for me! Amen.

Someone asked Jesus, “Which commandment is the first, the most important?” Jesus answered, “‘Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.’ The second one is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” When the person agreed that had to be true, Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of heaven.”

It’s such a relief for a kid to have a friend or two who really gets you! You appreciate it so much when you say to a friend, “So, I talked to my sister about something,” and you don’t have to explain all the back-story about not getting along with your sister and your decision to try harder. Your friend already knows the whole history and knows how you feel.

In this week’s Gospel (Mark 12:28-34), Jesus meets a guy who really gets where He’s coming from. The guy basically asks Jesus to rank the commandments in order of importance, and Jesus says, “Well, first you love God as much as you possibly can; then you love other people as much.”

Like you with a friend who totally gets you, Jesus doesn’t have to explain Himself. He doesn’t have to say why it’s important to love God and other people, and to love people “as you love yourself,” which means to treat them well.

It just makes sense to the guy who asked the question: Of course if you didn’t love God, you probably wouldn’t see the people God created as very important; and if you didn’t love yourself, it would be hard to share love with other people.

Friends who get you are a treasure. Even Jesus appreciated when He found one, telling the guy, “You’re pretty close to heaven.” Appreciate your friends — and, as Jesus reminded us, show your love for them by trying to really understand them, too!