As I read the readings, I can’t help but think of the mix of emotions that I face this time of year, and especially this year. Two our children are out of the house but live in Omaha, our third is living with us as he goes to graduate school, we moved our fourth into the dormitories as a college freshman this year and our youngest is starting fourth grade. I think we are, particularly by modern standards, a close family, but as the years march by I feel the tug of the centrifugal forces that pull us apart. Children grow and move on as they should to become their own people and we hope they serve God and their fellow human beings. I have many friends who look forward to their children moving out and having more time to themselves or to pursue other things, but I confess to not being one of those people. It’s not that I don’t want my children to grow up – I do. But I want to hold that bond with them even across distance and time and the strain of generational differences.
I think it’s that sense that I get from the readings today. Both Paul and Jesus are acutely aware of the strains of earthly existence and the pressure it was putting on their relationships. So they wrote and spoke about it to comfort their friends and perhaps even to comfort themselves. And that’s what I try to do this time of year. “But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” I hope that holds true for me.
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