Friday, June 10, 2016

How to be a Good Friend

Ben Sira 37:4-5 (NABRE)
4 A harmful friend will look to your table,
   but in time of trouble he stands aloof.
5 A good friend will fight with you against the foe,
   and against your enemies he will hold up your shield.

I am reminded daily of this truth, especially among the students I serve and my own emerging teenage son.  People, even at a young age, learn to exploit others for the sake of their own gain. “Friendship” becomes a bargaining token, a lever of power over others. But this does not have to be the case.  

The sacred writer states that a good friend will fight with you against “the [common] foe” and “your [not their] enemies.” Being “a good friend” is standing at someone’s side no matter the consequence, even if it means losing your favor among others and being persecuted. A “good” friend, moreover, will “hold up your shield.” Shields are defensive, protective implements, so a good friend will protect and defend.

Lord Jesus, you are my true friend and the example of perfect friendship. Please grant me the grace of being a good friend to those I love and to those who most need my friendship. Amen.