In today’s First Reading Qoheleth encourages the young to enjoy their youth, but to not be deluded into thinking it is eternal or that they are immortal. He makes a stark contrast between the young person, enjoying life and unconcerned about the future, and the person aware of his mortality and how brief and fragile life can be.
When we’re young we often can’t wait to grow up, and once we get there, we lament our lost youth and how we squandered it. Both the young and the old striving to be the other only manage a caricature of what they once were, or what they will grow up to be. The lesson Qoheleth wants to impart today for young and old is that our actions and decisions always have consequences. Our Lord in today’s Gospel knows his actions and decisions will lead to the Cross; he warns his disciples, but they are too immature to face the facts.
We may not have so dire a cross facing us, but young and old must now that there are moments of difficulty and decision in life that either help us to mature or show us how immature we really are. Let’s examine our life today and see how we can grow in maturity at the right pace, never coming up short.