September 30, 2021, Thursday, 26th Week in Ordinary Time
Nehemiah 8: 10
It’s always a joy to go for a walk with my young great-nieces and nephews. They are fascinated by the simplest things. They see an ant on the sidewalk and stop, or they see a funny-shaped rock and hold it in wonder. What do they see that we don’t see? I learned from these young ones that joy and wonder are found in the simplest things of life.
Appreciating those simplest everyday things get lost as we grow up. We can be easily fooled by society’s thirst for the “good life.” Everything is perfect, spouse, family, work, even my golf game. That world or “my” world doesn’t exist. It may for a time, but Covid, the loss of a loved one in death or any suffering brings life back into perspective.
The gospel challenge: “Do not be saddened by this day. Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength.” (The first reading from Nehemiah 8: 10). Where do we find the strength to overcome life’s hardships? The answer is simple – a friend. When Jesus sent His disciples out to proclaim God’s Kingdom, he told them to take a companion. They went out empty-handed, nothing but the clothes they wore. How hard that would be! He didn’t want them to face their struggles in life alone.
Maybe you know someone who is struggling. Be their companion on the journey of life. If you are struggling with something, pray and seek out a friend to console you and help you. For 2000 years, we call those companions “church.” Bring some joy in someone’s struggle. Keep it simple. Be a friend.
IGNITE THE FIRE. God bless you, my friends.
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.