for Sunday, August 1, 2010
The Book of Ecclesiastes, often called the Book of Qoheleth, is one of the
wisdom books. It teaches us a lot of common sense and is very realistic
about living daily life. Today we hear about vanity - that is, about the
uselessness of so many things in this life, especially stress and
preoccupation about what will happen to us or what we can acquire and what
we can do in our ordinary life. Any stress or preoccupation is really
useless - vanity in the sense of this reading.
The Gospel reading from Saint Luke also speaks about the futility of
preoccupation or worry with money, inheritance or possessions. Of course,
most of us don't want to live on the street or have nothing to eat, but
this is not about that. It is an over concern with what we have right now,
a constant preoccupation with having enough, when in reality we already
So often we can forget the Gospel teaching that stress and preoccupation
and worry don't change reality. If we stop and think, we all realize that,
at least in theory. But does such realization stop us from worrying, from
stress, from preoccupations? Usually it does not. Instead we get caught
up in this inner distress even though we can do nothing about it and it
takes so much or even all of our energy.
We can always remember the serenity prayer and ask to change what we can
and accept what we cannot change - but often we don't want to do that. It
seems almost like a breach of trust if we give up worrying about what we
The second reading today, from the Letter to the Colossians, can provide a
path through this when it tells us: 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.
All we need to do - and it sounds so easy - is to keep our attention on that
which is above and not on the things of earth! Sure, we will say! Yet it
is always the answer. We are invited to put everything in our life into
the context of God's love for us and salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ.
It sounds pious but is just about as simple answer as could ever be given.
Trust in the Lord and place all your concerns in His hands.
May we find the Lord this Sunday as He invites us into His presence. May
we come to know how to place our lives in His hands. May we come to know
that all is well and all shall be well because God is Lord. He loves us
and calls us to respond to His love.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: