Daily Reflection for Thursday, September 22, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: CLICK HERE
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
Responsorial Psalm: 90:3-6, 12-14, and 17BC
Gospel: Luke 9: 7-9
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. Ecclesiastes 1:2,4
When I first met Kenny, he was smoking a cigarette out in the morning cold. Kenny was quick to smile and charismatic in a very gruff sort of way. He had showed up to serve the homeless that day. He was kind but direct with the clients and a relentless worker. He was the perfect volunteer. In bits and pieces, I learned some of Kenny’s story. He had moved to Indianapolis to be closer to family after years away. He needed their moral support and a change of scenery. I didn’t get the full story, and wasn’t nosy enough to pry, but he hinted that he had struggled with addiction. Kenny’s path to redemption led to Indianapolis and helping the homeless. Over the next five or six years, he became a fixture downtown and threw himself into his work. We weren’t really close and I didn’t know him that well, but he was always there helping to make someone’s day better. He was a role model (as are folks like Margie Pike, Pat, Gary and the Tuesday crew at the Cathedral Kitchen).
I do volunteer, but I often struggle to find the time as I juggle family, work, and personal interests. However, if I’m honest, there were opportunities that I passed up in favor of selfish pursuits. Stuff that in the end has no meaningful impact – sure it may have been fun in the moment, but nothing memorable. In the first reading we hear that “all things are vanity.” We spend a lot of time and energy on activities that will not leave any lasting impact. They serve as a brief distraction to provide limited satisfaction that quickly goes away and needs refilling again. They likely provide little benefit, if any, to the people around me.
Kenny spent years leading a life that never made him happy, but once he changed his focus to serve others his cup was full. He made a difference to many people. Kenny passed away unexpectedly this past year, but he leaves behind a legacy of service. He isn’t a household name and, in time, will be forgotten. However, people he worked alongside and those he served remember the impact he made. Ken’s love remains. Similarly, while all things must pass away, God’s love remains and all we need is love.
The Cubs will still be around as will the Colts, the house will still have things that need fixing, the lawn will still need to be mowed, and every news outlet will still post new stories. However, I want to be more like Kenny and the version of him that I knew. I want to use the limited time we have in ways that demonstrate God’s love for us and our earthly home. Will you join me?
Just think how much fuller and richer our lives can be if we dedicated ourselves in service to our Lord and one another.