September 26, 2020
by Mary Lee Brock
Creighton University's Graduate School Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 454

Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8
Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
Luke 9:43-45

Praying Ordinary Time

My Mother's Suscipe: An Alzheimer's Story

When I was a young girl my Great-Aunt Sal gave me a dresser that had been a wedding gift to her and my Great-Uncle Hank.  The piece has beautiful curves and a large mirror.  Ironically when I first heard about the gift I was disappointed as I was hoping for a plastic dresser that had been promoted during Saturday morning cartoons.  Aunt Sal’s dresser has been a treasure throughout my life. Years ago my parents brought the dresser to my home so my young daughters could have it in their bedroom.  It has been painted many times and always maintains a sense of dignity.   My daughters are now young adults and I am currently painting the dresser again for my older daughter to take with her as she prepares to begin her career.

Thinking about Aunt Sal’s dresser helps me pray with today’s first reading from Ecclesiastes.  The innocence and pure hearts we have as children is a treasured gift from God.  We are called to follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes.  The hardships of life and our own sinfulness can lead us away from the joyful worldview of our youth.  Just as when I was a young girl I could not fully appreciate the significance of Aunt Sal’s generosity, I now realize how the dresser has been a become symbol of the many gifts in my life.

Holding steadfast to God’s gracious gifts can help us meet the challenges we face throughout our life.  Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all things are vanity!  When we think we can face these challenges on our own, without God, we fall into vanity.

Today I pray to God to help me appreciate the beauty in our world with a childlike wonder.  I ask that I see the good in other people especially those who bring out the worst in me.  I pray to open my heart to the gifts God is continually offering.  When I feel overwhelmed I pray to remember to trust in God’s love and to live life one day at a time.  And just as I could not initially appreciate the gift from my Aunt Sal, I pray to learn to better appreciate God’s gifts.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!

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