There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
The poem of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, from today's first reading, has been the subject of song and art in both the popular culture and the fine arts. The song "Turn, Turn, Turn" in 1965 came to represent much of the zeitgeist of that time. T. S. Elliot's poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," alluded to various "times" as expressed in Ecclesiastes. Prufrock broods over the mystery of time and life's events.
(See Ecclesiastes through the Centuries by Eric Christianson)
In today's Gospel, our Lord reveals to His disciples that a time will come when He must suffer and die, a time which cannot be denied or avoided. The disciples eventually came to understand, after the Resurrection and Pentecost, that everything we experience in life, whether we know it or not, stems from God's love.
May we trust in God's passionate love for each one of us, despite the "vanities" of life, the seemingly meaningless tragedies we witness daily in the public media and the misfortunes we inevitably experience ourselves. Let the Holy Spirit engulf us, that by faith we might taste heaven even in the midst of times of desolation.
"We cannot know what the meaning of every event is,
but we can know that every event is meaningful.…
Love alone understands love."
(Peter Kreeft, Making Sense out of Suffering)
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne