“I have s tried everything and I could not get satisfied.”
These words spoken today correspond to the experience of Qohelet
(this Hebrew word refers to someone addressing an assembly, or ‘the Preacher’)
described in today’s 1st reading (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23).
What did this man really want?
Satisfaction from all his efforts – efforts to achieve a life of contentment:
he was trying to taste some enjoyment and pleasure.
But his experience is one of suffering, dissatisfaction, restlessness,
as he realizes that he has worked much and…
what he has gained he must leave to someone else who has not done anything to obtain it!
But in fact, that man was looking – not for pleasure – but for MEANING.
This is what a human being is most in need of: meaning.
The meaning of life… and the meaning of death too!
Who among us has not, one day, asked those existential questions:
- Where do we come from?
- Why are we here on this earth?
- Where are we going?
Qohelet complains that: “Everything is vanity” – in this context vanity means futility.
It refers to something pointless, useless, meaningless…
What is the point of getting up in the morning, rushing to work, laboring the whole day.
returning home at night to find there… many problems… go to bed to start again the next day…
Indeed what is the point?
There is NO point unless one has found… the meaning.
An on-going search perhaps?…
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/
And in a video, (also in French) Rachel (personified by Nathalie Ménard) asks herself: ‘Is that all there is to life?’ ‘Est-ce tout ce qu’il y a dans la vie?’ https://youtu.be/k6wStCaBH6U