Cycle C Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” Perhaps one of the more famous quotes from the bible. Yet how subject are we to labor over many things that have little meaning in the long run. We have bigger houses today than I think any time in history, yet how many rooms does it take for a family to live comfortably. We have clothes we haven’t worn for years. We have so much stuff we pay rent to others just to store stuff we never use and don’t need. As it says, we take nothing with us when we die. Are we storing up treasure in heaven or earth?
Paul reminds us to “put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.” Where are we placing our emphasis? Our job, our family, our spouse, our possessions?
Jesus picks up on this when someone asks him to, “Tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He reminds the asker, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Yet how many of us give in to the commercials to buy things we do not need? Along with the quote in the first paragraph comes the common one “eat, drink, be merry!” perhaps among the most quoted, though we separate it from the reality. What will be of us when we die? In our secular world there is nothing. Jesus reminds us that the life to come should be our focus.

Author: yuengerwv

Retired Catholic Priest

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