Week of November 13, 2016
First we had the seasonal change from summer to fall, followed by the change from daylight savings time. Then we encountered the political changes resulting from the recent election and now we find ourselves close to the end of the liturgical year with the many changes it brings. The inevitability of change is emphasized in our Gospel reading today when Jesus says, “All that you see here--the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
This constant cycle of change we encounter in the church liturgical year corresponds to what is happening in the natural world, the political world and the social world. It is quite intentional and is meant not only to make sure we are exposed to a wider range of scripture readings, but to convey the message that change is an essential characteristic of life itself.
As Ecclesiastes tells us, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” There are some very important lessons we can learn from the cycle of change. One is that we control very little of the change that occurs in our life. For example, we can hope for a nice sunny day, only to have it rainy and dark. As they say, “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” We can study the issues, make an informed choice and hope our candidate wins only to have the other side take the prize. We can study the science of seismology but still be unable to predict exactly when or where an earthquake will occur. We can eat healthily, exercise regularly and follow all the medical advice we are given by our health care professionals, only to find we have a serious illness. This recognition that we are “out of control" can lead to cynicism and despair or to peace and hope. It boils down to saying a simple “yes” or “no” to the life we are given on a day to day basis. A “no” response will magnify negative elements of life, whereas a “yes” will magnify the positive. This will apply regardless of our life situation.
As Proverbs 18:21 states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” In other words, say “YES” to life!