A bit of a delayed post here, Audrey -- sorry about that. It's been a weirdly scheduled week. This week's Mass readings were actually continuations of last week's -- well, the 2nd reading and the Gospel were; I'm not sure where the 1st reading came from.
I won't write analytical commentary this week. I tried, but it came out all wrong; the second reading hits me at a point past words, because I struggle with hope, and I struggle with duty (obligatoriness so easily drowns out love, at least for me), and I struggle with growing up, and with the infinite, and with... a lot of things.
As I wrote last week:
And maybe someday we can talk about this over hot chocolate, why this passage always moves me, always has moved me, and has hit me harder and harder as I’ve grown up… these are the sorts of conversations that you have with people throughout the years, because it’s not about the informational content or factual statements conveyed but rather about experiencing and expressing the ineffable things about life together. And you and your sister, and all our cousins, are people I would have these conversations and experiences and wordless times and joys with.
It's a good wrestling. But it's my personal wrestling, and you need to have your own.
So here's what I suggest: read the 2nd reading out loud. Slowly. All of it, not just the "love is patient, love is kind" bit that they often excerpt in greeting cards adorned with hearts and flowers (...eugh). See what comes up, what you think and feel and wonder after each line or two. Make a note of what it feels like now to read this when you're 9. Try to remember. Then when you're older and come back to this, however many years from now -- see what, if anything, has changed.
Maybe this won't be a passage that hits you; maybe other sections will grab you more, maybe another translation will work better for you. Maybe now is not the time, and maybe this is not the book. But you'll know when it happens -- and this happens with all sorts of books, not just religious ones. Sometimes when you read, particularly clear or clever phrases will ring your mind like a bell -- they'll strike you in a certain way. That's cool, but what we're looking for is things that ring your whole self like a bell. Things that make your soul shake. Things that leave you wordless in a way that can't be logically explained.
When it happens, pay attention -- it's a lesson. Not a lesson to be analyzed, but a lesson to be lived. There's usually a silence, mystery, and uncertainty to be honored and paused within.