Ecclesiastes 3.1-15


Ecclesiastes 3.1-15

OLD TESTAMENT (Second Reading)

A Reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes


There is an appointed time for everything,

     and a time for every affair under the heavens.

A time to give birth, and a time to die;

     a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

     a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

     a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;

     a time to embrace, 

     and a time to be far from embraces.

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

     a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

     a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

A time to love, and a time to hate;

     a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit have workers from their toil? 

I have seen the business 

     that God has given to mortals to be busied about.  

God has made everything appropriate to its time, 

     but has put the timeless into their hearts 

     so they cannot find out, 

     from beginning to end, 

     the work which God has done.  

I recognized that there is nothing better 

     than to rejoice and to do well during life.  

Moreover, that all can eat and drink 

     and enjoy the good of all their toil—

     this is a gift of God.  

I recognized that 

     whatever God does will endure forever; 

     there is no adding to it, or taking from it. 

Thus has God done that he may be revered.  

What now is 

     has already been; 

     what is to be, 

     already is: 

God retrieves what has gone by.


The Word of the Lord

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