Saturday, August 03, 2019
18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 4, 2019 - 18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Eccl 1: 2; 2: 21 – 23 / Col 3: 1 – 5, 9 – 11 / Lk 12: 13 – 21
1ST READING: Eccl 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.
FROM THE 2ND READING: Col 3: 1 - 4
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.
GOSPEL READING: Lk 12: 13 – 21
Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, "Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance." He replied, "My friend, who 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?'
"So this is what he planned: 'I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I may 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 instead of amassing for God."
In the first reading from Ecclesiastes we are reminded that at our death we take nothing with us: neither wealth nor anything we have worked for all our life: "life is so meaningless."
In the second reading Paul confirms the message of Ecclesiastes and urges us to work for things which last: "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."
In the Gospel reading Jesus' parable of the rich man who built larger barns for his plentiful harvests but died suddenly confirms the lessons from the first two readings: What is life truly about? While wealth in itself is not evil, a man, like the rich man in the parable, who depends only on his wealth, is indeed a fool: "You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you; tell me who shall get all you have put aside?" This echoes Ecclesiastes' "meaningless!"
The rich man of the parable was very wise from the strictly human point of view. He had foresight and common sense to protect and preserve what he had earned and stored. But did he look beyond his rich harvests and stored riches?
Let us avoid the sad ending for the rich man in the parable. As Jesus taught us, "Do not store up treasure for yourself here on earth where moth and rust destroy it and where thieves can steal it. Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come to steal it." (Mt 6: 19 – 20) "Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God, and all these things will also be given to you." (Mt 6: 33)
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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