A few days ago I was thinking of a quote on a greeting card I once sent to a friend some years ago. I was wondering if it was from the Bible and thought about googling it. In the course of my day the idea slipped my mind as often happens, I guess, to many of us.
Recently not able to attend Mass, I looked up the daily readings for today on line. And sure enough found that very quote was in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Bible. The reading is familiar to me and many others, at least we remember the beginning. You could spend time pondering each of the eleven verses. The quote follows:
Eccl. 3:1-11 1) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven, 2) a time to be born & a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3) a time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up; 4) a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5) a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; 6) a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; 7) a time to rend and a time to sow; a time to keep silence and a time to speak; 8) a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace; 9) What gain has a worker for his toil? 10) I have seen he business that God has given to to the sons of man to be busy with. 10) He has made everything beautiful in its time; 11) also, He he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
The passage is a reflection of King Solomon on life. The verse I am speaking of is: 11) also, He has put eternity into man’s mind. The reason this particular verse remains embedded in my mind is just that I believe it is present in the mind of every one of us and a path to realizing the existence of a Creator who must care about us to have put it there. Solomon was said by God to be the wisest man on earth but even he fell away from the path set before him by God for a time. Even men today who claim to be atheists seek eternity by freezing their bodies to preserve themselves. Or foolishly refuse to think that they will eventually die, and act accordingly; it may be the reason many seek power over those who seem weak to them. And with free will each of us chooses to do good or evil. Our bodies are mortal and our souls immortal. Christ came that we might have life in eternity forever.
When I hear what is happening in our country, I keep asking: Why would this fleeting life be more important than eternal life?