25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Nothing is new under the sun.
Today’s first reading isn’t very inspiring, but it is relatable! Haven’t we all sometimes felt like Qoheleth, the author of this passage? Our days can seem routine and monotonous. Why are we here? What is the point of all our work and struggles, all the things we accumulate, when it will eventually be turned to dust?
If you are a person of faith, you may feel guilty for feeling this way. Shouldn’t believing in Jesus and obeying him put a smile on your face every moment of the day? Shouldn’t helping people be its own reward, no matter how futile it can seem at times?
Of course, we know the answer to these questions should always be yes. But there’s often a difference between what we should experience and what we actually do experience. Some of our greatest saints, like Mother Teresa and John of the Cross, have faced the loneliness and confusion of feeling distant from God.
So put your guilt aside. It’s okay to admit that you haven’t figured out the secret to constant happiness! In the end, Jesus is more concerned with your actions than your feelings.
Instead of fighting the sense of emptiness, try accepting it. Try telling God how bored, frustrated, or hopeless you feel—he won’t condemn you. In fact, he is there with you in the midst of the frustration or the dullness. You may not feel motivated to pray, but you can still do it anyway and offer your efforts to him regardless of your feelings. You may feel unable to hear his voice, but you can still ask him questions. Or you may not feel happier, but you can place your hope in the promise that the Lord will eventually reward your persistence—even if it’s with a greater degree of patience!
God wants to bless your efforts—but he has to have efforts to bless. So even if you feel unenthusiastic, take those first steps to accomplish the work he has put in front of you. The work may be unglamorous and hidden to the world, but God can still draw blessings from it. That’s because his faithfulness knows no bounds!
“Lord, give me the strength to carry your light into the world.”
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17