Thursday, February 23, 2017

Be a Friend

By Colleen O’Sullivan

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.  A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.  A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds; For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.  (Sirach 6:14-17)

But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  (Mark 10:6-8a))

He’s my forever friend,
My leave-me-never friend,
From darkest night, to rainbow’s end,
He’s my forever friend.
Even when I turn away He cares for me,
His love no one can shake,
Even as I walk away He’s by my side,
With every breath I take.
And sometimes I forget Him,
My halo fails to shine.
Sometimes I’m not His friend,
But He is always mine.
 (My Forever Friend, Charlie Landsborough)

Today, we have an interesting set of Scripture readings, the first about friendship and the second about the special love between a husband and wife.  Interesting, because we find ourselves in the last few days before we enter the season of Lent, which begins next week with Ash Wednesday.  In a sense, Lent is all about love and friendship - the love with which Jesus laid down his life for us, his friends, and our chance to examine the depth of the friendship and fidelity we offer the Lord in return.

Nowadays the word “friend” is bandied about with abandon.  We have hundreds (or even thousands) of Facebook friends.  We know they aren’t really all our friends.  Then there are people who consider the people who owe them favors or can do something for them, friends.  But that’s not friendship; that’s using people for your own gain.

In the first reading, Sirach points out that we can have a multitude of acquaintances, but that we should be much more selective when it comes to confidants, people we trust.  As most of us know from life itself, among our acquaintances are people who are only fair-weather friends.  Don’t look for them to hang in there with us when times are tough.  When we are laid low and can’t be what others want, some of them will turn against us and avoid us.  Seeing how others are willing to hurt us, trample on our trust and turn their backs on us in days of adversity is an impetus for considering how we are friends to others.

Sirach speaks of friendship in ways that could only help Cursillstas to make friends, to be true friends and to bring our friends to the Lord.  Be to others as Jesus is to us: a place of refuge and trust.  Extend a listening ear.  Keep confidences.  Be faithful and steadfast.  Don’t turn away from those you befriend no matter how difficult the circumstances.


When you are praying today, take a few minutes to reflect on ways in which Jesus has been and is your Friend.  Offer a prayer of gratitude and ask for the grace to be that same kind of friend to someone else.  Pray that those immigrants torn from family and friends will find friends to offer them places of safety and refuge.

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