Gospel: Mk 10:1-12
Jesus then left that place and went to the province of Judea, beyond the Jordan River. Once more, crowds gathered around him and, once more, he taught them, as he always did. Some (Pharisees came and) put him to the test with this question: “Is it right for a husband to divorce his wife?“ He replied, “What law did Moses give you?“ They answered, “Moses allowed us to write a certificate of dismissal in order to divorce.“
Then Jesus said to them, “Moses wrote this law for you, because you have hearts of stone. But in the beginning of creation God made them male and female; and because of this, man has to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one body. So, they are no longer two, but one body. Therefore, let no one separate what God has joined.“
When they were indoors at home, the disciples again asked him about this, and he told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against his wife; and the woman who divorces her husband and marries another, also commits adultery.“
The gift of friendship
The journey back to the Father is a journey made best with companions, with friends. Do you have a soul friend? One who can walk with you as a fellow pilgrim? One who can share your dreams? One who can laugh with you and cry with you? One who accepts you with all your “pluses“ and “minuses.“ One who loves you as you are? If you do have such a friend, blessed are you indeed! Ben Sirach tells us that a “faithful friend is a priceless treasure!“
Ben Sirach further tells us that the foundation of true friendship is the fear of the Lord. It means that a true friend will not endanger the eternal salvation of a friend. God’s law establishes the parameters of the relationship of true friends. Such was the friendship of St. Francis and St. Claire, St. Basil and St. Gregory, of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. These blessed Saints were true friends as they had their gazes fixed on God even as they held each other’s hands.
Today would be a good time to remember our dear friends. We thank our friends who have stood by our side through thick and thin. We thank our friends who have been faithful to us. May the good Lord reward them all!