Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
August 5, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The readings this week send a powerful message to all those people who are so attached to possessions.
These scriptures are addressed especially to all of us whose closets are bulging with clothes we haven't used in years, and gadgets that have long outlived their usefulness . . . and to those of us who haven't the courage to either give them away, donate them to a worthy cause, or just get rid of them. Possessions can choke our souls to death!
In today's Gospel, Jesus gets a request from a person in the crowd whose relative won't share an inheritance. He wants the Master to intervene! Jesus, reading the man's heart, utters a great teaching: "Avoid greed in all its forms."
Jesus then tells a great story about the foolish rich man who is a real "pack rat." Rather than give his excess wealth away to worthy causes, the man decides to build a huge storage barn to hold it all. He never pauses to ask himself what God might have to say about all his wealth. He just decides to hoard it all. And God says to him, "You fool! You're going to die this very night! And who will inherit all this wealth of yours?"
The first reading from that great Wisdom book, Ecclesiastes, puts it in words that are so familiar to us: "Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity!" In other words, what a waste is a lifetime spent in accumulating wealth, if we don't share it with those who have less. It's empty "whistling down the wind!"
The Second Reading from St. Paul to the Colossians tells us how to avoid all this foolish preoccupation with riches. "Seek the things that are above, where Christ is . . . set your minds on what is above, not on things that are on earth." In other words, God is saying "just keep your eyes, your thoughts and your heart attached to me and you'll never lose sleep at night over all those bulging closets."
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore --
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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