The WORD in Other Words by Fr John Seland SVD (Japan)
Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil
In 1997, an author by the name of Richard Carlson published a book entitled Don‘t Sweat the Small Stuff. Usually, when I read a good book, I underline certain parts that I feel are noteworthy. As I read this book, I found myself underlining almost every sentence The basic thesis of the book can be detected by its title: all too often we become overly concerned about relatively unimportant things in our daily life.
When driving, perhaps someone cuts in front of our car, with the result that we find ourselves becoming unduly angry. Or when we are in a hurry and cannot find something needed, we become frantic, feeling that we may be late for a certain meeting. Whatever the situation may be, we often overact. Why? Besides a good dose of pride, we often do so because we place too much stress on what should actually be relegated to a lower position in our scale of values. What we should ask ourselves is this: so what?
So what if another driver cuts in front of my car? Does it really matter? Is it worth getting so upset about? So what if | am a bit late for an appointment? In fact, maybe coming late will prompt me to be more careful next time so that I will come early for a more important meeting.
When we look at today‘s gospel story, is it not true that we find this very thing acted out? The women were so concerned about so many little things. Did they have enough spices to anoint the body of Jesus? Who would roll back the large stone in front of the tomb? and so on. Indeed, they were so concerned about such matters that they (like the disciples) completely forgot that Jesus had previously told them—told them repeatedly, in fact—that he would rise from death. So concerned were they by all the details that they forgot about the main thing: Jesus‘ repeated affirmation that he would rise from the dead.
From time to time, there is a deep need for reflection. We have to ask ourselves truthfully and frankly to what extent we too focus on little things, while overlooking what is most important in our lives. Are we trying to come closer to God in our daily life? Are we doing our very best to love people around us? Are we giving strong witness to our belief in God in our daily lives? These are the matters that really count. Everything else is secondary.