Follow the meditation of the 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time of Year C, with the Jesuit Father Flavien Zolabi.
Readings: Qo 1.2.2, 21-23; Collar 3.1-5.9-11; Luke 12, 13-21
Dear brothers and sisters, the texts of today’s liturgy, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time of liturgical year C, invite us to meditate on our relationship to material goods and the ultimate end of our life. The first reading, taken from the book of Qohelet or Ecclesiastes, begins with this famous slogan: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. The sacred author expresses a kind of disillusion. In fact, he discovers in earthly life, identical for the foolish and the wise, the ephemeral nature of all things. He sees all “vanity”. By its origin, the word Vanity means in effect that there is nothing that is stable, nothing that remains and can provide security. Despite his human experiences, the author comes to the conviction that everything is vanity. At the end of his earthly life, man takes with him nothing of all the wealth he may have amassed honestly and at the cost of enormous sacrifices.
In the gospel Jesus seems to hold an identical language. The story opens with a request for justice made to Jesus by a man who feels wronged by his brother in the division of the inheritance. Jesus begins by challenging this man who wants to make him the judge of material matters, then for everyone he warns against the temptation to accumulate fleeting and inconstant earthly wealth for oneself, to the detriment of the only imperishable good, the love of God and neighbour. Jesus illustrates his teaching with the example of a rich man. He managed to work his fields well. The harvest is abundant. And he is concerned about how to keep all his wealth for himself. So he said to himself: “…I will demolish my granaries, I will build bigger ones and I will pile up all my corn and all that I have in them.” Then I will say to myself: ‘Here you are with abundant reserves for many years; Rest, eat, drink, enjoy life». Faced with his riches, this rich man does not think of his neighbour, and forgets God. He is centered on himself. He forgets that everything is vanity, as Qoheleth says, that is to say fleeting and inconstant. In reality, like Saint Paul in the second reading, Jesus does not invite an ideological contempt for earthly goods, but condemns the desire to want to live only for oneself in indifference to others and to God. It is in this perspective that Pope Francis does not tire of continually warning us against egocentrism, which is a disease of our time. More recently, in his July 6 message addressed to young people participating in the “Youth Conference of Europe” in Praga from July 11 to 13, he invited them to “to have knowledge of the beginning and the end of everything; to put your feet firmly planted on the ground, but with a broad gaze, open to the horizon, to the sky“. May the Lord grant us to have the right relationship to the goods of this earth, that is to say to consider them as means to serve God and our neighbour, and not to absolutize them.
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Meditation for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Serving God and neighbor – Vatican News
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