Missionary Weekly Reflection
Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 4 August 2019
Ec. 1:2; 2:21-23; Ps. 90:3-4,5-6,12-13,14,17; Col. 3:1-5.9-11; Luk. 12:13-21
Reading Ecclesiastes, we can find a lot of words of “vanity”. It is even told, “All is vanity” (Ec. 1:2). Is it true that all humans do are vanity? If yes, then why do people still keep on trying and struggling in life?
The writer actually wanted to open human’s eye to realize his meaning of “vanity”, that human’s life is only temporary and sometimes it’s spent for pursuing the “vanity”. The secular matters, which are pursued by working hard during day time, which brings a lot of distress and sorrow, which even sometimes make unsoundly sleep, all of those hardworking at the end has to be left to others.
There is actually a very clear message in Ecclesiastes. The same message that can be found in today’s Psalm “You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” (Ps. 90:3). Humans come from the dust and will return to dust. No matter how much result has been obtained, how much success has been achieved or how much pleasure has been enjoyed, wisdom, knowledge and skill, especially wealth, popularity, enjoyment, all of them will be gone, left behind and vanished, when human is called by the God, the owner of life.
If life is just spent for pursuing the secularity, then life is merely vanity. In the letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul reminded them to seek for the things above, where Jesus Christ dwells. “Set your affection on the things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2). Busyness and all pleasure can drown ourselves into an endless vortex. We no longer remember to stop, to take a break, to calm down our mind to enter inner silence, to meet God. Our lives are only filled with agenda, pursued deadlines, demanded target and result, controlled by pleasure and lust. Without realizing it, the world is taking over our lives, even ourselves. We no longer recognize who we really are. What is the nature and purpose of our lives.
“Christ is our life” (Col. 3:4). For Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, what is more important and primary than Him? However, it is no secret, that sometimes wealth and pleasure offered by the world become the most important and primary for humans. Humans are competing to pursue time to get more, bigger and more powerful. Some people indeed struggle for life to feed the family, but many struggle for maintaining the comfort and enjoyment of life.
In today’s Gospel of Luke, Jesus reminds us to be always alert and awake, because life does not depend on wealth. We should listen by heart, in order not to become the treasure hoarder for ourselves, but to count the days we have, so we may have the wisdom to live according to God’s will.
We hope that on the day we meet God, He will not ask, “The things you have prepared, whose will they be?”
(Angel – Pontifical Mission Societies)