Ok, I need some children to be my volunteers. I have some bubbles here. Just come on up. I need your help, so whoever wants to come up with kids, anyone can come up. I need the kids. Or adults, if you feel like coming up if you’re an adult, you can. Stand right down here, OK, face me. All the way down right there. Alright, I got some bubbles here. Now we hear in the first reading, vanity of vanities. Vanity means like breath or air or like vapor. You blow it, and then suddenly, it’s gone. Now I wanted to see if any of you can catch this. I’m going to blow some bubbles over you, and I want you to try to catch them. OK, and when you catch the bubble, you’ll show it to everybody else. Alright, you guys ready? Catch it? It’s harder than you thought? Alright, show me your bubbles. OK, let me see who’s got bubbles. Let me see your bubble. Show it to everybody. What happened to them? They popped, and they’re gone? Are guys disappointed? I would be too if I were you. Alright, you can go sit down. Thank you for your help.
Well, that’s life! That’s it. Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth. And then we hear in the gospel, eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you die. Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes this morning is talking about life. He’s talking about the disappointment in life. As is Jesus, we can’t really keep anything. Just like these children playing with the bubbles and trying to catch the bubbles. One of them said this is really hard, and it’s really hard for us in life. Because we can’t keep the bubbles. And in our lives those things that we want to reach out and we want to hold, and we want to grasp and keep, sooner or later they’re gone. It pops; life pops its bubble on us. Well, what happens when we have the bubble pop? At those moments, we come to this reality of despair where we really give up on life and think there is no God. I’ve seen kids with bubbles before, and sometimes they cry because they can’t keep the bubble. They get really upset, and Qoheleth is saying that’s what life is. Life is like bubbles they’re beautiful you blow them. But you can’t keep them. You try to grasp them, and the moment you touch that bubble boom, it breaks. Right? In our lives, when the bubble breaks, we lose something we’ve tried to have.
If you think about it like the midlife crisis, you know, so a guy who thinks he’s got it all. He’s got a good job, a good car, and a good family, and all of a sudden, the bubble pops. And he realizes that all of this is not enough. It could be times in our lives when we lose something that we really cared about. Maybe it’s a project that we’ve been working on or a bid that we had. Or maybe lose a job, or maybe your body begins to be like that bubble, and it starts popping and disappointing you all over the place. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one in their life for you at some time was like this beautiful bubble, and then suddenly, pop, they’re gone.
Well, Ecclesiastes is a whole book of this despair. It talks about despair throughout the entire book. There’s actually no redemption in the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s like a really bad TV series like Breaking Bad or something like that. Where there’s no redemption, or the Sopranos, just all bad. Well, seeing that helps us realize how life can be so fleeting. We hear in the gospel that Jesus is telling us that we can’t store up things on earth. So the rich man who had an abundant harvest built these granaries. He built this barn to hold his grain; he expanded it. And he said now I shall eat drink and be merry. And then Jesus, of course, says to him, you fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you. You know there’s that phrase you can’t take with you, right? So we can’t take the things of this earth to heaven. And sometimes, we get too attached to things. Our things in our lives can actually pull our focus away from God.
The good news is that when the bubble pops, and we have that sense of the futility of life, that’s the time when faith takes place in us. That’s the time where the virtue of hope comes into us. Because when the bubble pops, we either have a tendency to despair, or it could become a time of maturing and growing in our faith. So I just want you to realize if there are any moments in your life right now where it seems like the bubble is popped. You didn’t get the dream you wanted, that you didn’t get the life you wanted, and you’ve lost somebody or something. It’s actually OK. It’s actually good that the bubble pops. Because it helps us to realize that the things of this earth are passing, but God and our relationship with God never pop. That bubble remains intact.
So we can come here today with great hope with great faith. And move from a kind of a first naivete about the world, about God. I think it’s good at every point in our lives that we have a moment for us where the bubble pops. Because that’s when we’re called to go to that next level of faith. That’s when we’re called to go to that next level of hope. And that’s what we celebrate today; these sacred mysteries were when Jesus suffered and died on the cross for many of his faithful, the bubble popped. He died. And what they didn’t realize is that he had something great in store for them. He would rise from the dead and also wanted us to share in his resurrection. And so, our faith and hope increase when our bubbles pop.
What a wonderful perspective to see the bubbles that pop as a gift and to thank God for the blessing.