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A Faithful Friend & Friendship

Walter Quinn, OSA
Priest Associate, Priests for Life

February 01, 1981
   
 

SIRACH  6:5-17                    

STV =  St Thomas of Villanova.... is an Augustinian Parish Church in Rosemont, PA.

 

TODAY’S 1ST READING.....SIR 6:5-17...is a beautiful description of what TRUE Friendship really should be.

 Please read the Old Testament Book of SIRACH...also known as ECCLESIASTICUS.......written between

 200 BC & 175 BC.   This Book has always been regarded by the Catholic Church as Divinely Inspired &

Canonical.   Many other Books are NOT considered Divinely inspired...& therefore NOT Canonical.

Catholic & Protestant Churches differ on this very point!

 

SIRACH SPEAKS OF DUTIES to:....God, Parents, Friendship, Education, Poverty, Wealth, the LAW, & Religious

 & Social Customs of the times.  The Catholic Church uses the Book of SIRACH extensively in her Liturgies.

 

FRIENDSHIP is one of the most precious Gifts of Life!   SIRACH tells us we should be very careful in choosing

 Friends.  SIRACH 6:7 states...”When you gain a Friend, first test him.....& be not too careful to trust him.” 

 SIRACH 6:14  “he who finds one, finds a treasure.  A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance

his worth.”

 

HOW does one TEST a Friend?   He who Fears God is the TEST of True Friendship says SIRACH 1:10 ff.

  “Fear of the Lord warms the Heart...giving Gladness & Joy & Length of days.  He who fears the Lord will

 have a happy end.....even on the day of his death...he will be blessed.”  These Divinely Inspired words

 regarding Friends & Friendship are truly beautifulSir 1:12FEAR of the LORD is the Beginning of Wisdom

.......Sir 1:16....Wisdom’s Garland is Fear of the Lord.”

 

THE OBVIOUS ADMONITION for all is.....to CHOOSE FRIENDS who DO Fear the Lord....for Fear of the Lord is

 one of the SEVEN GIFTS of the HOLY SPIRIT.   THE 7 GIFTS:  The 1st 4 deal with the INTELLECT: Wisdom,

 Understanding, Knowledge & Counsel.  The last 3 deal with the WILL:...Fortitude, Piety & Fear of the Lord. 

 

SCRIPTURE reminds us that there is a STRONG BOND....a strong Friendship between Piety & Fear of the Lord.

We also begin to see the strong relationship between the OLD & NEW Testaments.

 

EVERY INDIVIDUAL needs, at times, some Solitude, Friendship...& a Sense of Belonging.....or in modern

 terms....”to experience Community”.   On this very point Scripture tells us:....MT 6:6:......”when you pray,

 go to your room.....& closing the door...pray to your Father in secret....& your Father who sees you in

 secret....will reward you.”

 

EACH PERSON should foster a special, private relationship with God.....by whom & for whom...he/she

 was created....& with whom he/she is Destined to Live in the Eternal Life of Heaven.

 

  OUR TRUE FRIENDS are those who Fear the Lord....have True Piety...& a proper balance between things

 Spiritual & Material.  If so ...then one IS GROWING stronger spiritually each day in terms of the Gospel.

 

                                  CONCLUSIONI KNOW I SHOULD HELP..... AND CARE FOR OTHER PEOPLE...

 

                                                  AND OTHER PEOPLE CAN HELP ME...IF I LET THEM!

 

                                               FROM THIS GROWS A LOVE OF GOD AND NEIGHBOR

 

                                                          WHICH IN TURN LEADS US INTO HEAVEN. 

   
 
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