Daily Reflection for Friday, September 23, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Responsorial: Psalms 144:1b and 2abc, 3-4
Gospel: Luke 9:18-22
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
As a Pete Seeger fan for many years, I am very familiar with today’s first reading from his song Turn! Turn! Turn!, and I have always seen the words as a series of contrasting good vs. bad moments in life. A time to mourn (bad), and a time to dance (good). A time to tear down (bad), and a time to build (good). A time to embrace (good), and a time to be far from embraces (bad). But at 61, I’m starting to see this scripture differently.
I was talking to a young woman today who was overwhelmingly upset about a purchase that she recently made. She believed that someone had been very dishonest in the transaction, and it had cost her a lot of money. In her reaction, I could vividly see my younger self (sometimes my current self). Something goes wrong (bad), and I’m going to be without peace until it gets fixed (good). I shared with her that I regretted allowing myself to spend so much time anxious and upset about things that had (or even might) go wrong. I also said that I believed she was in the right and deserved to have the issue fixed. But much more than that, I believed she deserved to have joy and peace right at that moment. I remember a priest in college told me once that whatever I was worried and upset about at that time, I probably would not even remember what it was a year from then. And he was right. I don’t know what she’ll do with my advice, but I know I’ve spent too many of my moments looking towards some distant “good” instead of appreciating the good that was there in each of those moments.
So, I want to reframe the meaning of this scripture. A time to weep is good, and a time to laugh is good. A time to seek is good, and a time to lose is good. A time to be born is good, and a time to die is good. God is good all the time, and if the darkness and the pain are just too deep, I need to trust that good is in there somehow. Because, through the power of God’s love and grace, even death on a cross can be transformed into the greatest of all goods.
Grace and Peace to you,