A summary of my homily at the Opening Faculty Eucharist…
A Time for Everything: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Here we go again! Another school year. Another season to do what we love.
I love the wisdom Solomon shares in this passage from Ecclesiastes 3. Solomon recognized the many ways we can respond to life. This passage serves as a sort of permission slip to feel what we need to feel as we journey. Each of these reactions has its place. We can feel them as we need and then move on to another season.
As with any season, we have a team. And any coach will tell you that the best teams become a sisterhood, a brotherhood, a family working together toward a common goal. And as we walk through this next season of the school year, we have the St. Francis Family to walk with us.
And like a sports team, the team changes every year. There are faces in this room that you delight to see and simply seeing them make you smile. There are faces that we are accustomed to seeing beside us that are no longer with us as they have moved on to retirement and new adventures. And there are new faces full of energy, passion, and a desire to make a difference in our family. This is your team for the season. Together, we will walk through this 2019-2020 school year. This wisdom of Solomon will guide us as we experience many of the seasons of life. We will support each other as we learn and grow as professionals and as we pour ourselves into the lives of our students.
However, Solomon was never a teacher. He never worked in a school or dealt with the many seasons of an educator’s life. And so I humbly suggest that this passage could use a little poetic interpretation to reflect the school year that we face.
Please enjoy this new reading in the good humor with which it was intended:
While these humorous and all-too-true lines of this new reading describe the school year, it is the wisdom of Solomon that will describe our lives in general. In the midst of the to-do lists and the chaos of the 2019-2020 school year, find time to tend to your mind, body, and soul. Find time to heal, to laugh, to dance, to embrace, to love, and for peace.