Friday, September 23, 2016

Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, priest

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; Luke 9:18-22)

A college professor recently wrote about her and her daughter’s experience of learning to play the piano.  She said that she studied piano to become a grand prize winner.  When she met the competition, who could be every bit as diligent but had more talent, her interest began to wane.  Now she does not play much at all.  But she is teaching her daughter how to play.  Her daughter lacks the competitive edge.  She plays the piano for enjoyment.  She may not achieve perfection, but she is not likely to become discontent with her efforts.  These experiences reflect the first reading today.

Qoheleth, the preacher, finds everything happening according to God’s appointment.  He is chiding humans for trying to force better results with ploys like competition.  It is better, he would say, to work when it is time and relax when that times comes, to weep when it is appropriate but not to forget how to laugh. Qoheleth knows that God will take care of people who trust in His ways.

Many of us are impatient and discontent.  We are not satisfied with who we are and what we have.  We want to be universally recognized and be rewarded for our achievements.  We are likely to end up disillusioned.  It would be better to exert effort during the day to be a better person, but at night to acknowledge God as the one whom are to please.