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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament, Wisdom

Enjoy the life you’ve been given

Submitted by on Saturday, 27 September 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8
  • Resp. Psalm:  Psalm 90:3-4,17
  • Gospel Reading:  Luke 9:43-45

Qoheleth’s Advise to the Young

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the evil days come
And the years approach of which you will say,
"I have no pleasure in them"

The passage from Qoheleth contrasts the time of youth to the time of old age ("evil days").  The passage is filled with picturesque speech, describing the onset of the wintry years of life.  While there are some who would disagree with this negative description, still the description has become classic.  He gives snapshots of a town slowly dying (the vigor of activity and the noise of busy-ness becoming a memory and fading into oblivion), of orchards no longer tended, of pots and pans going into disuse…  In all these, Qoheleth’s words are a reminder that the joy and gladness of youth, like the passing of time is also transitory.  He sounds almost like a doting grandfather who tells the youth to follow their desires with the awareness that God will be judging their acts

Follow the ways of your heart,
the vision of your eyes;
Yet understand that as regards all this
God will bring you to judgment.

He has already said that what is important is to enjoy life, God’s gift (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13) and about death and judgment (Ecclesiastes 3:17-21).  So now he tells the young that though human existence is a burden, they should learn to enjoy it, i.e. "to put grief away from their hearts." 


A Note On Qoheleth’s idea of Time and the coming of Christ

It is recherché to find a connection between two readings when there is none.  But consider this:  there is the fulness of time that God has destined for the coming of His Son (cf. Galatians 4:4), but since He has not put a sense of what is "timely" in the hearts of men (see the previous day’s blog), they were not able to recognize His coming.  Thus even when Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ of God (Luke 9:18-22), he still missed its point.  Peter also tells us that though the prophets knew of His coming, still they had to have a special revelation to realize that it was for a later generation that He would come.

Concerning this salvation, prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and investigated it, investigating the time and circumstances that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the glories to follow them. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you with regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you (through) the holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels longed to look. (1Peter (NAB) 1:10-12)

Ecclesiastes 11:9-12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
9Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these God will bring thee into judgment.
10Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh. For youth and pleasure are vain.
Psalm 90:3-4,17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
3Turn not man away to be brought low: and thou hast said: Be converted, O ye sons of men.
4For a thousand years in thy sight are as yesterday, which is past. And as a watch in the night,
17And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us: and direct thou the works of our hands over us; yea, the work of our hands do thou direct.
Luke 9:43-45
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
43And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and cured the boy, and restored him to his father.
44And all were astonished at the mighty power of God. But while all wondered at all the things he did, he said to his disciples: Lay you up in your hearts these words, for it shall come to pass, that the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
45But they understood not this word; and it was hid from them, so that they perceived it not. And they were afraid to ask him concerning this word.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
12And I have known that there was no better thing than to rejoice, and to do well in this life.
13For every man that eateth and drinketh, and seeth good of his labour, this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:17-21
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
17And I said in my heart: God shall judge both the just and the wicked, and then shall be the time of every thing.
18I said in my heart concerning the sons of men, that God would prove them, and shew them to be like beasts.
19Therefore the death of man, and of beasts is one, and the condition of them both is equal: as man dieth, so they also die: all things breathe alike, and man hath nothing more than beast: all things are subject to vanity.
20And all things go to one place: of earth they were made, and into earth they return together.
21Who knoweth if the spirit of the children of Adam ascend upward, and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?
Galatians 4:4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law:
Luke 9:18-22
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
18And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples also were with him: and he asked them, saying: Whom do the people say that I am?
19But they answered, and said: John the Baptist; but some say Elias; and others say that one of the former prophets is risen again.
20And he said to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answering, said: The Christ of God.
21But he strictly charging them, commanded they should tell this to no man.
22Saying: The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the ancients and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise again.

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