24 August, Tuesday — Being a Friend

Aug 24 – Feast of St. Bartholomew, apostle

Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles. He was probably a close friend of St. Philip, as his name is always mentioned in the gospels in connection with Philip, and it was Philip who brought Bartholomew to Jesus. He may have written a gospel, now lost, as it is mentioned in other writings of the time.

Someone preached in Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India, and Armenia and left behind assorted writings. Local tradition says it was Bartholomew.

  • Patron Saint Index

Apo 21:9-14
Jn 1:45-51

Your friends, O Lord, make known the glorious splendor of your reign.

Being human means having to depend on others. No one can ever do everything alone. Even if we were to become hermits, we would have to rely on the hands and skills of others for things and services that are beyond our capabilities to produce or supply.

I have noticed the term ‘friend’ being used very loosely. We meet many people over the course of work and on social media. We also work with others on a regular basis. Yet, a lot of these people are merely acquaintances or colleagues. We simply do not have capacity to be friends to large numbers of people. Because as a friend, we need to fulfil responsibilities that require sacrifices.

Good friends are honest, caring, giving, and also loyal. Friendships require regular attention and upkeep. Flitting around may serve us well when things are well. But in difficult times, friendships you do not reciprocate or nurture will not pay dividends. As we progress in our careers and begin to specialise, perhaps it is time to also be more focused with regard to whom we befriend and channel our gifts accordingly.

Perhaps it is timely for us to assess the relationships we have with others. Are they life-giving, or death-dealing? Do those relationships help both parties become better persons? Have you outgrown any relationships that do not serve you after the inevitable trials in your life?

I have found that having a few quality relationships brings me far greater joy than a multitude of Facebook friends or party companions. It is in the deepening of our love and understanding of others that we grow as people and learn about ourselves, ultimately bringing us closer to communion with God.

And also, don’t forget to befriend the person that you spend the most time with — yourself.

(Today’s Oxygen by Gregory Mathew)

Prayer: Help us O Lord, to be friends to others, and not just when it is convenient.

Thanksgiving:  We thank you Jesus, for all the friends past, present, and future in our lives. We are always grateful for their teachings and support.

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