~”For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart
with which he has labored under the sun?”~ Ecclesiastes 2:22
Last night I went to Mass with my best friend, and we arrived with enough time for me to skim over the readings before Mass started. As I came across this line in the first reading, I was excited to hear what the priest would have to say about it during his homily. Lately I have had a lot of stress related to finances and planning for my future. Questions such as ‘Am I in the right career field’ or ‘Should I be pursuing jobs in other cities’ have become central focuses of my thoughts and prayers.
The priest who gave the homily was from a parish in Iowa (or some I state, I can’t quite recall!), but nonetheless, he said that he was going to have a two part homily: the first part would be about the readings and the second part would be to talk about the charity he works with feeds the poor.
He spoke about the Ecclesiastes quote that spoke to my heart, mainly saying that as a society we place SO much importance on money and how successful we are in our careers. We often neglect those around us and even ourselves to climb the career ladder. And as a result we create a restlessness that we think will be filled by a job promotion or a move to a new city.
He then jumped into his speech about his charity and how he and some fellow Church members volunteered in a nutrition center in the Caribbean caring for the starving infants. While at the nutrition center they were asked to simply hold the babies – to give them much needed human contact that they were lacking. He grabbed as many babies as he could, and after 15 minutes of rocking them and singing to them would grab three more. His descriptions of emaciated babies nearly brought me to tears!
It really made me evaluate my life and what I think is truly important. For some reason his talking about a nutrition center really hit home with me (partly because I’m a dietitian), but also because I have NEVER EVER been in a situation where I haven’t had enough to eat. Sure I’ve had times where I’ve felt so hungry that I was going to faint (not many of these thankfully!), but I’ve never felt the hunger pains that he so sadly described.
The anxieties that I’ve experienced that in my mind seem so significant are nothing compared to the real trials and tribulations of the poor. I am so blessed and have absolutely no reason to be complaining about my life.
And so, I feel like it was one of those homilies where I could feel the Lord telling me, “You’re okay.”
And I am okay. Just today I got a phone call I’ve been waiting for – an offering for a job position I’ve been praying to get.
God definitely provides for us – in this case, the answer to my prayer was the one I wanted to hear, and hopefully it is the one that is the best for me 🙂