Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hearing the readings this past Sunday at Mass has left a lasting impression on me. I returned to Ecclesiastes Chapter 1 to read the entire passage after hearing a teaser. We heard 1:2 which says, "Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!" But the next two lines are just as telling, "What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays." It speaks of the futility that many of us pursue in trying to collect as many possessions as we can. It reminds us of how easily it is to be consumed by false gods and idols rather than concentrating on God's plan for us. In 1:11 it says, "There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them." A very relevant remark for this age. We are constantly trying to reinvent ourselves, our society and our world but the problem with most of those attempts is that the decisions are being made in a vacuum. Many of us are not familiar with our past. We do not take the time anymore to read and learn about the history of our nation or the world. While the Bible is our guide for life, it also give us historical perspective. Many of the stories in the Bible provide us with valuable historical insight that can be used to guide our societal decisions. Verse 11 resonates because it reinforces the idea that God never forgets but our memories are short and that dooms us to repeat our bad decisions. Living in the plan of God allows us to rely on His memory. It provides a solid foundation that encourages us to pray and be thoughtful when we make decisions. It is the way of truth.