If you are a member of the Facebook social network, there's a good chance you have a number of 'Friends'. Some people actually claim to have dozens or even hundreds of such 'Friends'.
Have you ever wondered what makes a friend more than just an acquaintance? Have you ever thought about the true meaning of friendship? The scripture readings for today's Mass included a powerful meditation on friendship from the ancient wisdom book of Sirach. If you have a minute, read on.... It's definitely worth it!
"My child, pleasant speech multiplies friends, and a gracious tongue multiplies courtesies. Let those who are friendly with you be many, but let your advisors be one in a thousand. When you gain friends, gain them through testing, and do not trust them hastily.
For there are friends who are such when it suits them, but they will not stand by you in time of trouble. And there are friends who change into enemies, and tell of the quarrel to your disgrace. And there are friends who sit at your table, but they will not stand by you in time of trouble. When you are prosperous, they become your second self, and lord it over your servants; but if you are brought low, they turn against you, and hide themselves from you. Keep away from your enemies, and be on guard with your friends.
Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter: whoever finds one has found a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth. Faithful friends are a life-saving medicine; and those who fear the Lord will find them. Those who fear the Lord direct their friendship aright, for as they are, so are their neighbours also" (Sirach 6:5-17).