In the northern hemisphere, September is the month of first times. The very first time in primary school, then in middle school, then again in high school, a never ending back-to-school cycle. And then there is the first time in college, and later your first job…
Then comes the next step: we take our children to school for their own first times, September after September. We hope that they will make the best of it, learn important things, grow in self-confidence and maturity, and make life-long friends. We hope they will enjoy those back-to-school days as much as possible, and we work hard to help them remember these times as good times.
Deep in our hearts, we went through those first times with a big expectation: that they would add up to give us expertise, and that we would become stronger and wiser. We were waiting for the September when there would be no more first time, when we could face anything with serenity, master it all and go on happily toward October and beyond… Smiling, because so much has been accomplished, sighing, because of nostalgia, but feeling at last stronger and comfortable.
But on the 30th of August, at morning mass, the priest commented on the pride of the Pharisees. They think they need nobody to save them, they rely on their own perfection regarding the law. With simple words, the priest explained why they are so wrong: “Every day is a first time… We cannot stay comfortable in our knowledge, in what we have accomplished, in our sanctity. Every day we have to start again.”
There goes our hope for the end of first times. Humbly, we have to think again about each morning in its newness, remembering that our strength is in the Lord, who makes everything new, Heaven and Earth and Septembers.