7th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, Year I

Anyone who uses FaceBook occasionally receives a post from a “friend” who wonders whether his “friends” are willing to show their friendship. He asks his post be re-posted on his “friend’s” FaceBook to show not only that his “friend” is reading his posts, but that he acknowledges him publicly as a friend. Not surprisingly some “friends” get upset at this kind of request. FaceBook probably chose to name the magic button “friend” because “acquaintance” was too long a word.

Sirach in today’s First Reading reminds us that there is a difference between a friend and an acquaintance: a friend is someone you can trust and count on; an acquaintance is simply someone you know. Some friends do not go the distance: they’re friends in fair weather, but abandon ship in hard times. They turn on you when you upset them. That’s why a true and faithful friend is a rare treasure, and it’s only something you discover over time. That doesn’t mean avoiding others; Sirach also counsels us to be on good terms with everyone, but also to be very cautious in making friends.

We all have a faithful friend who fits the profile perfectly: a sturdy shelter, beyond price, and a life-saving remedy. You already know His name. Why not get in touch with Him today if you haven’t spoken in a while? No FaceBook required.

Readings: Sirach 6:5–17; Psalm 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34–35; Mark 10:1–12. See also 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday and 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B.