It is 24th February 2017. The readings are from Sir. 6:5-17; and the Gospel from Mark 10:1-12. The first reading instructs us about having a true and a faithful friend in our lives. It is the rarest of the rare in humankind to cherish the company of a faithful friend. These days, we all have a variety of friends such as Facebook friends, WhatsApp friends, Viber friends, IMO friends, email friends, close friends, informal friends, and intimate friends. Most of our friendships are for the sake of convenience than conviction. Some other friends just for companionship than for commitment. Few other friends are just the magic numbers for the pride and self-glory. Depth and warmth of a faithful friend is indeed an existential need for a happy and contented life for every one of us. Betrayers and back-biters are outgrowing in numbers in our friendship circle than those of honest and transparently deep friends. There is a certain amount of selfishness in all our friendship however good they are deep down. Some of our friends are potential enemies of the future in betraying our vulnerability that we have entrusted to them in private. We must not be rushing for friendships in a hurry. We need to pray about it and to have enough time to know through and through before we trust someone for life as friends. Not every passerby could be called a friend. In order to find a faithful and a true friend, we must become such a faithful friend to someone. If our friendship is built on love, truth and respect, beyond any boundaries of choices and likes, it survives any hurdles and pain of the friendship. Unfortunately, most of our friendships are superficial, phony, showy and for material gains only. Let’s be beware of fair-weather friends around us. “Those who fear the Lord direct their friendship aright, for as they are, so are their neighbours also.” (Sir.6:17). We are taught from the Word of God that the faithful friends are sturdy shelter, a treasure, priceless, life-saving medicine, and God-given. Only then we could find a friend as an adviser who could help us to make a sure decision and to live courageously when we are tossed around. Such lasting friendships only happen to those who fear, love and follow the Lord. The responsorial Psalm prays, “Guide me, Lord, in the path of your commands.” (Ps.118:35). The Gospel teaches us that breaking a relationship through divorce is not the only solution to solve the problem between the couples. It is all about mutual love and the welfare of the children and of the parents to be upheld in our marital relationships. The stubbornness and selfishness between the married couples destroys the intention of God to establish a strong union out of love. Let us pray for our families and friends to have a strong root of love, peace, joy, happiness in befriending one another in love and due respect. May you have a good day.

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