A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself.
In a couple of hours some friends will arrive for lunch. I try to invite them down every year between Christmas and the Epiphany, although there have been years when we just couldn't make it work. It was a lot easier to find a way to get together when our kids were young and we could just bring them along. Now the kids are living all over the country and everyone is traveling all over the place to see their grandchildren.
The women who are coming today aren't just casual acquaintances, they are the friends that the scripture above describes. We have shared each others joys and sorrows for many years, and we know each others' strengths and weakness. Today we will pray and talk, and laugh, and maybe cry a bit. We will talk about our children and grandchildren, and we will talk about our faith and we will talk about our difficulties. We won't solve anything, but we will gain strength and grace to live our vocations. We will have had our life-saving remedy, and know that it is a treasure indeed.
And we may have a little wine to gladden our hearts, too.
And I also want to mention that there are a couple of you (You know who you are.) out there far away who ought to be here and who want to be here, and we will be thinking about you and praying for you and when we talk about you, we will only say nice things.