Saturday, August 04, 2007
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C
ECCLESIASTES 1:2; 2:21-23
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are
vanity! Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and
skill, and yet to another who has not labored over it, he must leave
property. This also is vanity and a great misfortune. For what profit
comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has
labored under the sun? All his days sorrow and grief are their
occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is
COLOSSIANS 3:1-5, 9-11
Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is
above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what
is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is
hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too
will appear with him in glory. Put to death, then, the parts of you
that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the
greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have
taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new
self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its
creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and
uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all
and in all.
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to share
the inheritance with me." He replied to him, "Friend, who appointed me
as your judge and arbitrator?" Then he said to the crowd, "Take care
to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life
does not consist of possessions." Then he told them a parable. "There
was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked
himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my
harvest?' And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my
barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and
other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so
many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be
merry!"' But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be
demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they
belong?' Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God."
The rich man in today's parable is wise in a sense. From the strictly
human point of view, he has foresight and common sense. He knows very
well that fortunes have been lost for lack of adequate storage. As for
him, he will not risk being taken unprepared. He will build larger
barns. Finally, regarding his retirement, he sees it as comfortable
and in abundance. Our man knows how to have a good time with the money
that a lifetime of honest work has accumulated. What can be wrong with
And yet, the verdict of Jesus cracks like a thunder, "You fool!" This
rich man had constantly reasoned as if God did not exist, as if the
poor and needy do not exist, as if he could dispose of the future,
"I've got an abundance of goods in store, enough to last me for many
years," he had thought. That is where he went wrong. His possessions
were only lent to him, and this for a period over which he had no
"A man's life does not depend on his wealth." Jesus is not referring
merely to biological life. The life of a person is made of everything,
which give him joy and happiness, drive and creativity. That also is
not guaranteed by wealth. To take only a commonplace example, the rate
of suicide is much higher in industrialized countries than in poor
countries, among the rich than among the poor. The people of modest
income as a whole are more optimistic in facing life, more capable of
laughter and games, than the well-to-do classes. Happiness cannot be
If a person is rich in anything whatsoever, rich in talent,
intelligence, know-how, good looks, popularity, character, love, and
enjoys that wealth without reference to God, that person is no less in
danger than the man in the parable. That is why prosperity and success
may sometimes be harmful to us, whereas failure and trials may well be
a blessing. The essential thing is we belong to the Lord. It matters
little whether we belong to him in success or in failure, in life or
In short, we violate the priority Jesus speaks of when we acquire
passing treasures in this life at the expense of losing eternal
treasures in the life to come.
One morning years ago, Alfred Nobel opened his newspaper and read his
own obituary. A reporter carelessly reported Alfred's death in place
of his brother's. Alfred was shocked. For the first time in his life,
he saw himself as others saw him. He saw himself as the "dynamite
king" who had spent his life making instruments of death and
That morning Alfred Nobel resolves to change his image. His resolution
resulted in the annual Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine,
literature, and peace.
Today's Gospel invites us to do what Alfred Nobel did. It invites us -
in our imagination - to read our own obituary. It invites us to see
ourselves as others see us. It invites us to see ourselves as we
really are. It invites us to see ourselves as God sees us.
Today's parable invites us to ask ourselves: "If we were to appear
before God tonight to give an account of our life, would God have to
say to us at this moment what he said to the farmer, "You fool, this
night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have
prepared, to whom will they belong?"
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Jose Rigor, Feliciana, Dennis, Aileen and her father.
- Eufrocina Navarro
- Marina Delfin and Fr John
- Ms. Norlie N. David
... In Thanksgiving:
- Jane Guillermo
- Balangit family
- Pauline and kids
... for the personal intentions and guidance of:
- Maria Fatima
- NG and R
- San Juan de Dios Hospital
- Guevara Family
- Veronica Yap
- Julie, Noc and Chibu
- Gailey and Tinky
... for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Sis. Jasmin Jongo
- Ligorio Bulay
- Maximo Guevara
- Augustin Uy
- Cristanta Buena Balilla, Pedro Peña Balilla, Dalmacio E.
Eternal rest grant unto them and perpetual light shine upon them. May
they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... In Memoriam: Remedios P. Balilla
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Diel Dano Or
- Birthday: Hincheung Dick Or
- In Memoriam (+): Go Hui Eng
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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