Daily Reflection
September 28th, 2006

Jeanne Schuler

Philosophy Department
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Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17bc
Luke 9:7-96

The Gift of Being Here

Herod was perplexed by the reports of Jesus. This one seemed different from the rest.

Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.

The tone of Ecclesiastes is weary as the turning of the earth.

We are born to suffer. The ashes of the rich blow away like the ashes of the poor. Our hard work can’t protect us from the fate that grinds down upon us. Sorrow knocks on every door.

We want meaning and purpose: to reach our goal and make a difference. That great day will be different from the rest.

Do you hear Qoheleth snicker? There is nothing new under the sun. The bend in the road is a childish hope. The landscape is unbroken. Every road has this one destination. Sameness settles like dust on our dreams.

Socrates was called the wisest, because he alone knew that human wisdom is worthless. Poets share the vision. Caked in mud and ash, we wait. No one comes. There is no answer.

The earth turns, the universe ages, species disappear, moments vanish like the wind. The wise are resigned to the futility of all.

Herod is right. You are different. You help us to see what is right before us.

We see newness break over the tired sages like the dawn. Possibility is real, not a wretched illusion. Suffering doesn’t negate meaning. Sometimes love gets real only in the midst of affliction. Anyway, what would our existence be like without time passing? Another day on earth is a gift. We rise in gratitude.

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