First Reading: (Sirach 6:5-17)
A kindly turn of speech attracts new friends, a courteous tongue invites many a friendly response. Let your acquaintances be many, but for advisers choose one out of a thousand.
If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and do not be in a hurry to trust him; for one kind of friend is so only when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble. Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make your quarrel public, and a third kind of friend will share your table, but not stand by you in your day of trouble: when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about; but, if disaster befalls you, he will recoil from you and keep out of your way.
Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends. A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure.
A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth. A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one. Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a person is, so is his friend too.
Responsorial Psalm: (Psalms 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34, 35)
Blessed are you, Yahweh, teach me your will! I find my delight in your will, I do not forget your words.
Open my eyes and I shall fix my gaze on the wonders of your Law.
Show me the way of your precepts, that I may reflect on your wonders.
Give me understanding and I will observe your Law, and keep it wholeheartedly.
Guide me in the way of your commandments, for my delight is there.
Gospel: (Mark 10:1-12)
After leaving there, he came into the territory of Judaea and Transjordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was.
Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were putting him to the test. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ They replied, ‘Moses allowed us to draw up a writ of dismissal in cases of divorce.’
Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so hard hearted that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation he made them male and female.
This is why a man leaves his father and mother, and the two become one flesh. They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.’
Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her.
And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’