Relationship. This is such a complicated reality. It is complex. We have so many different types of relationships. Some are easy. For example, there is the person we might see at the supermarket. We do not really know them well, but they are a comfort to us when we see them. They bring a sense of familiarity. There are other relationships that are more intimate. There are friends, though even here they are not all the same. We have close friends and not so close friends. There are friends we are quite close to and friends we are not as close to in life. There are loyal friends that are always there for us, and not so loyal friends who run at the first sign of difficulty.
The first reading outlines these relationships. it describes well what types of relationships there are, and the consequences of each type of friendship. The reading provides an important bit of advice, however. Real friendships take time. Real friendships take work. Real friendships have ups and downs, but when they flourish, they are wonderful indeed. They are sturdy shelters against the storms of life.
Yet when powerful friendships and relationships break down, it is most painful. There simply is not an easy way to put it. There are not many pains as deep as the pain of divorce. In my life as a priest, it seems that more often people mix up the challenges and difficulties of life with a relationship that needs to end. The first reading reminds us that friendships, relationships need to be tested so that the foundation they rest upon is solid.
There is no authentic friendship that does not arise from the friendship and relationship with God. Just as there is work to gain trust in a friendship or a relationship, so too there is work in our relationship with God. This is not because it depends upon us, but the work is to make ourselves available for a relationship, a friendship with God. Because there is no foundation stronger than God.