Today 1st reading is another wonderful writing from the book of Sirach. I’ve always loved this book,one of those deuterocanonical books,which can only found in the Catholic bible.
The book is full of wisdom and excellent teaching! And today’s reading is also wonderful because it tells you about friends and friendship.
When I think about my friends, I feel so blessed. When I think about my past, I for sure will remember those people from my past. I am not saying that they weren’t good people, they were and still are. They had great personalities, they were fun to be with. But they were part of my past, my worldly past which had a lot to do with hedonism, alcohol drinks, recreational drugs, wordly desire. I still do keep in contact with them but two years ago after joining charismatic prayer community in my parish I had made a decision and commitment to leave my previous lifestyle and live my new life in Jesus, in spirit.
I’ve then made new friends ever since. I have met new people and they came into my life. It was amazing. I look at my old life and say “what a boring life I used to have” and now I have a quiet,more reflective and peaceful life because I have surrendered myself to Jesus. What amazes me is that I made new friends. Unbelievable! More friends than I could ever imagine. Friends who joins me in prayers, who keeps praying for me. Who listen to my sorrow and brings color and rainbow to my life….
Today I am reminded how blessed we are to have friends. Each and every friend we have in our life means something. They come for a reason in our life. Friendship is God-given, not merely exists because of our intention. But they are gifts God gives for us. I am not saying that my friends now are more religious than those of my past. But as I have changed my lifestyle, I see friendship differently. As I have surrounded myself and my life to Jesus, Jesus Himself gives me lots of new friends as His present for my new life. Jesus,himself is a model of what true friend is. He gives all of himself and his life for his friends so that we, his friends, can have new life in Him, in truth and in Spirit!
Jesus has opened my eyes,my mind and my heart that there is a new dimension of friendship I have never ever thought before!
It is so true what is written in the Book of Sirach: For he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.
If you are not inspired by your friendship and circle of friends, do not try to change your friends first. Change yourself, your lifestyle and follow the path of Jesus and He will change your heart, therefore change the nature of your friendship!
A kind mouth multiplies friends and appeases enemies,
and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.
Let your acquaintances be many,
but one in a thousand your confidant.
When you gain a friend, first test him,
and be not too ready to trust him.
For one sort is a friend when it suits him,
but he will not be with you in time of distress.
Another is a friend who becomes an enemy,
and tells of the quarrel to your shame.
Another is a friend, a boon companion,
who will not be with you when sorrow comes.
When things go well, he is your other self,
and lords it over your servants;
But if you are brought low, he turns against you
and avoids meeting you.
Keep away from your enemies;
be on your guard with your friends.
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.
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