Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
September 22, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we meet the first of a few readings from Ecclesiastes, written by an author who calls himself Qoheleth – Teacher. The book contains many loved and oft-repeated phrases that we might recognize:
- There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven
- He has made everything beautiful in its time.
And today’s kick-off thought:
- Vanity of vanities …. All is vanity.
Reading Ecclesiastes places us in the presence of a writer who is a realist at best, and a cynic at worst. Parts of the book can be downright depressing; other parts, elegant in their spare beauty.
We can finish a passage like today’s and hear echoes around us of Star Trek’s Borg mantra:
Resistance is futile.
Qoheleth says as much:
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
The phrase carries at least a little tinge of hopelessness. But I think a lot depends on the way we read it.
Realizing that “things are the way they are” can give us a sense of stability and trust. It can release us from struggling needlessly against realities that will not be moved. It can encourage us to find within these “immovables” the hidden path to a new grace. It can remind us that others have endured; so can we.
One of our Wisdom Sisters taught us that by naming and accepting our reality, we can move from fighting it into growing from it. She always said, “What is, is” – implying “now deal with it”.
It sounds spartan, but it actually can be very freeing. We can’t change so many things – the weather, the tides, the hearts of others. The years will pass, friendships blossom and fade. We will get old, if we are blessed with that gift. We’ll lose our jump shot and probably some of our hair – maybe a few others things too.
But God will always love us, abide with us and cherish us for eternity. We’re gonna’ make it, one way or the other – because ‘God Who is, is!”
Poetry: Prayer – Galway Kinnell
Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.
Music: In Every Age – Janét Sullivan Whitaker