Saturday, August 03, 2013
18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
AUGUST 4, 2013
18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
Memorial, Saint Jean Vianney, priest
Ecl 1:2; 2:21-23 / Ps 90: 3-4. 5-6. 12-13. 14. 17 / Col 3:1-5,9-11 / Lk 12:13-21
Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
All is meaningless—says the Teacher—meaningless, meaningless! For here was a man who toiled in all wisdom, knowledge and skill and he must leave all to someone who has not worked for it. This is meaningless and a great misfortune. For what profit is there for a man in all his work and heart-searching under the sun? All his days bring sorrow, his work grief; he hasn't, moreover, peaceful rest at night: that too is meaningless.
So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in Glory. Therefore, put to death what is earthly in your life, that is immorality, impurity, inordinate passions, wicked desires and greed which is a way of worshiping idols. Do not lie to one another. You have been stripped of the old self and its way of thinking to put on the new, which is being renewed and is to reach perfect knowledge and the likeness of its creator. There is no room for distinction between Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, foreigner, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all.
Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, "Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance." He replied, "My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?" Then Jesus said to the people, "Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life." And Jesus continued with this story, "There was a rich man, and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought, `What shall I do, for I am short of room to store my harvest? Alright, I know what I shall do: I will pull down my barns and I will build bigger ones, to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I will say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.' But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you. Tell me who shall get all you have put aside?' This is the lot of the one who stores up riches for himself and is not wealthy in the eyes of God."
The rich man of the parable in today's Gospel, 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. He will not risk being taken unprepared. He will build larger barns. And upon retirement, he will be comfortable and in abundance. Our man knows how to have a good time with the money he has accumulated in a lifetime of honest work. What can be wrong with that? And yet, Jesus' verdict cracks like thunder, "You fool!" This rich man had constantly reasoned as if God did not exist, as if the poor and the needy did 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." That is where he went wrong. His possessions were only lent to him, and this for a period over which he had no control.
A man's life does not depend on his wealth. Against death there is no wealth that can withstand. Heart attack and cancer do not take fortunes into account. Nowadays anyone can be robbed, kidnapped, or murdered. And his fortunes can be lost to criminal elements. Fire, accidents, and other calamities can consume his properties.
The stupidity of the man was in the false security which he drew from his wealth. He should have staked on God rather than on material possessions. Must we then live in insecurity? No, Jesus is saying that our priority in life should be on becoming a person, not on acquiring wealth. Concretely, we violate the priority Jesus speaks about when we acquire wealth at the expense of becoming dishonest, or when we acquire power at the expense of becoming ruthless, or when we acquire popularity in the community at the expense of neglecting our own family.
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 gives him joy and happiness, drive and creativity. These are neither guaranteed by wealth. To take a common 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 bought.
If a person is rich in anything such as: rich in talent, intelligence, know-how, good looks, popularity, character, love – and enjoys his riches 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 death. 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.
There is a story of three apprentice devils in hell who were about to accompany their teacher to earth for some on-the-job experience as devil interns. Their internship supervisor asked them what techniques they planned to use to get people to sin. The first little devil said, "I think I'll use the classic approach. I'll tell people, `There's no God, so sin as much as you can. Sin up a storm and enjoy life.'" The second little devil said, "I think I'll use a more subtle approach. I'll tell people, `There's no hell, so sin up a storm and enjoy life.'" The third devil said, "I think I'll use a less intellectual approach. I'll tell people, `There's no hurry, you have plenty of time, so sin up and enjoy life."'
To which little devil have we listened to lately? What are we putting off in our lives?
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 unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Ditas dela Paz, Toots Monfort, Virginia Hernandez, and Fleur Torres
… for the personal intentions of Karl Miguel V. Cortez
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Dick Ng. Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Thomas Ngo Tiong Tay (1930-1988)
… for families who are in need of healing
… 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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