18th Sunday of the Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 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 his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity.
2nd Reading: 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.
Gospel: Luke 12:13–21
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.”
DEPENDENCE ON GOD: Every day we see thousands of people going out to work. They work for the whole day sometimes in the hot sun. They do this with the hope of making money to make their lives and those of their families better or to improve their living standards. A person can earn money and then put up a good house for himself or herself. Once he/she has finished building, he/she feels good and happy that he/she now has his/her own roof over his/her head. He/she no longer have to suffer from paying rent to the Landlord. He/she feels safe in his/her house. If it so happens that all of a sudden, an earthquake occurs and the whole house falls to the ground. He/she becomes once again houseless or homeless. All his/her energy and savings are lost. He/she is forced to go and rent a house again. This example makes a person to realize that all the works human beings do without depending on God is vanity. A human being cannot be independent from God. God is the only one who make human being to be truly safe and happy.
True safety comes from God. He is the only one who sustains us. A human soul can only relax and be happy if it is in the hand of God.
Stopping to attend mass simply because a person has acquired much material wealth which one thinks that he/she can now depend upon without God is vanity (Luke 12:19-20). Not depending on God is vanity of all vanity (Eccl 1:2).
Prayer: May all people realize that without you Lord, their toil is vanity.