1ST READING - Sirach 6:5-17
P S A L M - Psalm 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34, 35
R: Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes. (R)
16 In your statutes I will delight; I will not forget your words. (R) 18 Open my eyes, that I may consider the wonders of your law. (R) 27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. (R) 34 Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart. (R) 35 Lead me in the path of your commands, for in it I delight. (R)
GOSPEL - Mark 10:1-12
A faithful friend is a sure shelter. Friendship is a wonderful gift of God yet a rare treasure. Once found, it is the elixir of life. All of us seek a friend in our life, one to whom we can turn to in the depths of our heart. They are few and far between. There are three types of love according to the Greek mind: sexual love (eros), friendship love (philos) and sacrificial love (agape). Take note of your friends. Do they love in an agape way? Take a look at Jesus and you will see that He is the best friend we can ever have: faithful, honest, loyal and sacrificially loving.
The First Reading from Sirach mentions three kinds of friends — seemingly to be avoided at all costs! One kind of friend will stand by you when all is going well. Come some trial and confrontation, they are quick to depart and leave you abandoned. He is there as long as it suits him — for selfish pleasure. Another friend stands alongside you, but as soon as a quarrel begins, they will publicly display their anger. They will in turn become bitter with gossip, and false rumors will spread about you. A third kind of friend will share all things with you, even quite intimately, but trouble comes and you find him nowhere in sight.
The author Frank Crane states that a friend is one “with whom you dare to be yourself.” With a true friend, we can come from behind the masks of insecurity and be truly who we are. Many of us are hidden from others; we pretend to be who we really are not. Many of us live with a sense of false security and identity, we don’t know who we really are. We become afraid of ourselves.
Jesus is the most loyal friend. With Him, we can be truly ourselves. He loves and calls us His friends by sharing with us His most intimate secrets. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to develop our friendship with the Lord. And let us pray for good friends in our lives.Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: Consider those whom you call friends. Are they loyal, faithful and loving in all circumstances?
Jesus, You have called me Your friend. Help me to be loyal and faithful to You. Guide me, Lord, in the way of Your commands. Amen.