It is important to remember that today’s feast follows immediately on the heels of the feast of the conversion of St. Paul…who was intimately associated with these two great saints and early successors of the apostles.
As you may know, in recent years, the tomb of St. Paul was excavated at St. Paul outside the walls in Rome. As a seminarian, I would visit this tomb with an Italian priest friend. This friend of mine had a great fascination with “friendship”. On our first visit to this tomb, he told a marvelous story of the friendship between St. Paul and St. Timothy. He also told me that St. Timothy was buried there with St. Paul…and I asked him…”Is that true?” Msgr. Mario said, “If it isn’t true, it ought to be!”
Today, on this feast, I remember another great friend, who celebrates his 15th anniversary of ordination as a bishop. He is another one who has taught me much about friendship…Bishop Robert (Bob) Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida.
I have always felt it was Providence that brought Bishop Lynch to be ordained on this feast of the the two saints, aquaitences, bishops, friends… Bishop Lynch appropriately chose as his personal episcopal motto: For His Friends, pro amicis suis.
Most of all, on this feast, we remember two great friends of the Lord…and that is each of our calling…to know, love, and serve the Lord, Jesus, Who calls each of us friends!