Ecclesiastes 1.2; 2:21-23
Colossians 3.1-5, 9-11
Luke 12:13-21

Today’s scripture readings paint a gloomy picture of humanity’s vain aspirations, our destructive behaviour, and our broken social system. The wise old man, Qoheleth, rails against the futility of material gain at the cost of the loss of soul. Saint Paul in the Colossians describes specific behaviour that is not only punishable but is also breaking the unity of Christ’s body. And in today’s parable, Jesus condemns the behaviour of a society that has lost its concern for the common good. A gloomy picture indeed—and perhaps a familiar one. But is there hope and healing to be had here? 

Words of Thomas Merton come to mind: “As long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another because this love is the resetting of a body of broken bones.” Broken bones indeed!

To unite and heal the broken body of the Universal Christ is quite a daunting quest. Does Merton offer us any hope, any healing? In the same passage, he writes: “There are two things that men can do about the pain of disunion with other men. They can love or they can hate.”

Today’s response Psalm challenges us, “if today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.” Jesus chose love and hope, in the expression of his Broken Body and in his Resurrection.

And on this day, at this moment, we can heal the brokenness in ourselves and meet the brokenness in others with compassion for healing.

David Peter Folkes is a former Passionist Priest who resigned and married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren living in Chicago. He is mostly involved with refugee resettlement and racial equity issues.