Daily Reflection
September 30th, 2000
Tom Purcell
Accounting Department
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Saint Jerome, priest and doctor - Memorial 
Ecclesiastes 11:9--12:8
Psalms 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Luke 9:43-45

There are three phrases from today's readings which resonate for me and create a reflection linkage.  "Rejoice, O young man, 
while you are young" is the admonition from today's first reading.  "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart" is one of the prayers from the responsorial psalm.  "They failed, however, to understand this warning" is the editorial comment from Luke's gospel.

So what is the link?  For me, the common bond is that we most times fail to read the signs, that we are unaware of what is happening to us and around us.  The young fail to let their hearts be glad in days of their youth; we fail to learn as God teaches us to number our days aright; the apostles failed to understand what Jesus was telling them about His destiny.

I think what blinds us to the signs about us, what prevents us from being glad in our hearts in the days of our youth, is our natural 
tendency to attach instead of detach.  I watched some of the Olympics last night, and was delighted in the attitude of Lenny Rayzelburg, the US backstroker who immigrated from the former Soviet Union.  His perspective on the sacrifices he and his parents had made, his wonder at what was happening about him, the unfolding of his fame and his true humility were all evidence that his heart was glad in the days of his youth.  He isn't holding onto this experience and being obsessed with success or failure - he seems to be detached from all the hoopla while being part of it and enjoying it.

And so it must be for us.  We need to let go to understand.  We need to be glad in our youth before the "evil days" of age come to cloud our lives.  We need to listen and to trust and to understand God's message by being aware, by being in the moment but by avoiding being attached to the moment.  And so I pray "Lord, open my heart to the joy of the moment.  Grant me the wisdom to let go, to detach, and not to hold.  Help me understand your truth in all I do." 

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