Shakespeare borrowed this quote from Seneca, a famous Roman Philosopher and gave the words to Puck, a jokester found in his Midsummer Nights Dream. On the face of it, truer words were never spoken. We indeed play the fool as we bumble along, ignoring the wisdom of the ages and attempt to play god. We take ourselves very seriously, pontificating and posturing; covering up our basic fears and insecurities,l;our need to be loved and noticed. It seems that the more fearful and insecure that we are, the more we attempt to demand attention and approval from others.
We pledge ourselves to certain ideal values that sound wonderful; espousing our commitment to the common good and the brotherhood of all. We gather together in our religious circles and pray to god to save us – to reward us with eternal life because of our faith. We look for ways to placate a vengeful god while at the same time recognizing and worshiping g many gods. We worship the gods of wealth and power, of public approval, of war and violence, of law and conformity but, most of all, the god of self.
We listen to the words of the Gospel – the call to love one another, to feed and heal one another, to walk with one another, and they go in one ear and out the other. The Gospel calls us to be life givers, peace makers, and to realize that all of life shares in the one creation. The Gospel calls us to understand that all of creation is connected and that we are called to be builders; active participants in the ongoing creation. This message is found in practically all religions throughout the world and billions of people bow to the message.
How boring! It is much more exciting to tear down and to destroy; build once again so that we can destroy once again. We love to invent ways that give us the excuse to exclude, to segregate and divide. We invent reasons to refuse to allow others to the table and to refuse them the food needed for life. We find excuses to refuse healing, food, companionship to others who do not conform to our standards or expectations. We send them away hungry and sick without compassion because of laws made and enforced in ignorance. We surround ourselves with like-minded fools in order to strengthen our conviction that we are doing what is necessary and required. And then we are so proud of ourselves – how wonderful we are. And we dance and sing and rejoice in our emptiness while others perish. We are convinced, that it is their fault if they perish; they could join us and worship our gods.
What we fail so often to see is the illusions that we live; we surround ourselves with things and noise and chaos, striving to create converts to the gods that we have created and are angry when others fail to respond in a positive way. We fail to understand so often that the spirit that gives life is given away; starved and hidden. We fail to understand of often that there is more life in those who are rejected than in those rejecting. The face of God is found in the poorest of the poor; those sick and starving; those who suffer from war and violence that result from greed and jealousy. The kingdom of the world is basically empty of life and that we mortals dance to a tune that speaks of our pain – out loneliness. We fail to find that divine spirit that brings life because we are much to busy and have to run as fast as possible, and make as much noise as possible, so that we don’t have to confront our fears and emptiness. l
WHAT FOOS WE MORTALS BE: – We fail to experience that extreme and generous love that is the very root of creation. We are called to get over ourselves and to begin to look around and see with eyes the wondrous and magnificent creation that we are part of and to realize the intimate love that buries itself in each and everyone – in all that is. We are called to become the gift that we receive and to allow all others to be gift to us – we all need healing and food on our common journey; we need one another and in this, we find the God that is the source of all life. Relationship with self, with others and with the Creator God is the food that gives eternal life. This is the gift that cannot be earned; it just is. When a mother or father holds their child for the first time; watching the eyes open, the first breath; they are transformed with an overwhelming love that cannot be purchased or earned. That is the love that just is and that is the love that the Creator God has for us. We do not need to be jealous or afraid. We are called to jump out of ourselves and enter into the whole of creation that is so much more than we can imagine. We need to grow up and work to become more fully human; to follow in the footsteps of the Christ who we claim to follow.
We will be following the advice of the wisdom of Puck, when we learn to laugh out loud; laugh at ourselves land our illusions and pretensions. Laughter is the best medicine. Laugh often and loud – and enjoy the journey celebrating life and all of our peccadilloes. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. LAUGH AND THE WORLD LAUGHS WITH YOU!