Today’s first reading comes from the “weird little controversial” book Ecclesiastes and although it “certainly couldn’t be classified as chipper,” Mother Beth finds it surprisingly uplifting. In it, the author sets out on a quest to gather wisdom about what lasts and is truly meaningful in life. His conclusion? We have no control, everything is utterly ephemeral, and “all human pursuits are vanity.”
Yet Mother Beth finds this book to be inspiring in the way Ash Wednesday can be. “We humans like to be told the truth,” she offers. “We long to hear someone say what the world of commerce is doing its best to drown out: we are mortal. We all share the same destiny; we will die. Life is short and we are not in control, but we are all in it together and in hand of God.” The readings are Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12–14, 2:18–23; Psalm 49; Colossians 3:1–11 and Luke 12:13–21.