This reading from Ecclesiastes simply acknowledges that there is a time for everything under the sun: a time for good and a time for bad. It is impossible to disagree with these facts. There is a time for war and a time for peace. There is a time to kill and a time to heal. Nevertheless, we immediately jump to the question: Does it have to be this way? Could the final time for war come and go? Could we change the world so that there is a time to laugh without a time to weep? Or if we are unable to change things, could God have created it better?
Has God given us an inferior universe? Do we even really matter to him? What are humans that you care for them, Lord? Well, as far as we know, we are the only spiritual beings in the material universe. All of this was created just for us. God created distant galaxies so that the night sky would be more interesting. The highest revelation of God’s generosity to us is his gift of self in Jesus Christ. As he tells us in the Gospel today, he went to the Cross willingly, for no reason except to save us. If he has given us all this, it is proof that he loves us and has done everything for us.
Ecclesiastes is simply acknowledging hard truths, like the psalm does, when it compares us to a breath that quickly passes away. These hard truths are how things seem to be, but there is a deeper truth. Death makes life pass away, and that is a hard truth, but the deeper truth is that we will rise again. There are good times and bad times, and that is a hard truth, but the deeper truth is that God has planned a time for us with no tears, a time of everlasting peace. What are humans that you care for them, Lord? We are his beloved children, and he has plans for us. We might wish that he did not have so many plans for us. We are his beloved children, not his pets. Everything we experience is part of his plan for us to mature and live with him forever. Not that God causes the bad, but he does know what will happen, and he has a foolproof plan to get us through it all, through the best of times and the worst of times.