Wow, so the First Reading from today is pretty depressing, huh? Just the words we need to shock us out of any sadness or anxiety that we may be dealing with. As a classic optimist, I was tempted to go right past the First Reading and focus on something else, but I kept getting drawn back to it.
The following is the optimist’s take on one of the most depressing passages in Scripture. First, what is drudgery? I had to look up the word, because I knew it sounded bad. Scripture is comparing our lives on earth to hard, menial or dull work. At first glance this just sounds negative, but put it in relation to all of existence, and it makes sense.
Sometimes we wander through this life, or I know that I do, thinking that this is the best of the best. We try to make this earthly life as amazing as possible because it is what we know, and it’s hard to imagine anything else. But the good news is that this is just the beginning. God had so much planned for us, we screwed it up, he fixed it, and promises even more than the original plan.
What a loving God we have. Now all of this is hard to realize because all we know right now is our experience, but I have found it very helpful to take moments throughout the day to realize the place God has made for us in heaven. This life can be amazing, it doesn’t all have to be hard, menial or dull work, but even the best of moments is nothing compared to what God has in store for us. We are eating the scraps when God promises the feast. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis.
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” -C.S. Lewis
If we are offered infinite joy, then that should shape everything we do. Even the mundane and boring times in this life become meaningful to us because they are one step closer to our ultimate destiny, eternal life. We have a tradition in the Catholic Church of remembering that we will die someday. We are reminded of this on Ash Wednesday. The First Reading clearly points to this. But I say we should remember that someday we will fully live. That should shape everything we do and how we treat others. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God bless!
Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at email@example.com or check out his website at rodzinkaministry.com.
Feature Image Credit: Pedro Gabriel Miziara, https://unsplash.com/photos/HVwLvZYw6O4