The First Reading then speaks to our human aging process, "And the years approach of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them." While we mature, from the days of our youth, we are given more choices, more opportunities to witness life and learn from decisions and choices we and others have made. Adulthood brings temptations, and maybe even opportunities to turn away from our God. It might appear easier to be stingy rather than generous, quiet rather than to speak out against injustice, lazy rather than attend church. We can look around and see people who are not honest, who cheat, who are rude and resentful, who are fearful..... "and the strong men are bent" people who have "bent away" from a former relationship with God seem to have lost their hope for eternal life, or even for a brighter tomorrow. We are reminded to celebrate and embrace our lives on earth knowing and rejoycing in "the life breath returning to God, who gave it."
"In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge", might also be stated "In every uncertain situation, O Lord, you have traveled with us and given us insight." From sorrow can come hope and wisdom, from joy can come appreciation and recognition of gifts given to be shared.
The Gospel ends today's reading by Jesus telling us, "Pay attention to what I am telling you." We may not always understand why life is unfolding in certain ways But we are asked to "pay attention" to what God has taught us in our youth and as we experience life. When we "pay attention" to what God has taught us and "pay attention" to what others are saying or doing we are advised to bring these life experiences to God. In our prayer, our reflection, our discernment, God will give us insight, understanding, the ability to forgive, or move in a new direction, if we are not afraid to ask God to give us what we need and then to "pay attention" to what happens next.
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