31 July 2022 – 18th Sunday (C)

31 July 2022 – 18th Sunday (C)

The Rich Fool stands as a warning against clinging to our comforts while knowing that others starve. The heartless economic model proposed by globalised capitalism and our accumulative society adds to the world’s inequalities and tensions.

(1) Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23

“Vanity of vanities!” You can’t take it with you when you die

Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. Even one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.

Responsorial: Psalm 89:3-6, 12-14, 17

R./: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge

You turn people back into dust
and say: ‘Go back, children of men.’
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
no more than a watch in the night. (R./)

You sweep men away like a dream,
like grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers:
by evening it withers and fades. (R./)

Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity to your servants. (R./)

In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Let the favour of the Lord be upon us:
give success to the work of our hands. (R./)

(2) Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

Since Christ has returned to the Father, we must seek the things that are above

Since you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Gospel: Luke 12:13-21

The Rich Fool, a warning against greed and selfishness

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”


If I were a rich man

“What does it profit us to have gained the whole world, and to have lost or ruined our own self?” (Lk 9:25). “Our life is not made secure by what we own, even when we have more than we need” (Lk 12:15). A worthy and purposeful life focus merely on heaping up money or a material legacy. The rich man in the parable believed his future was secure, and that his good fortune was entirely due to his own merits. It must have come as a shock to learn that his life was God’s to give and God’s to take away. We might even feel a sneaking admiration for this industrious man. There is in all of us some streak of greed and covetousness, wanting to own things at all costs.

Greed can spring from lack of love, and many people try to fill that void with property and celebrity. There is ample evidence of this on every side. The clamour of the rat-race, an obsessive scramble to advance by fair means or foul, the demands of already well-paid professionals for higher salaries, backed by the withdrawal of service if these demands are not met. Jesus opposes such self-seeking and wants us to face the question: What are my hopes for the life hereafter?

The rich fool spent his energies on piling riches upon riches. The other extreme would be to see no value at all in working for a living. “Why bother with service since life is so short, and we can be fed at public expense?” Living off state benefits is not a valid vocational option. That tendency existed among some in the early Church, who thought that the second coming of Christ was so near that work was superfluous. Saint Paul, usually so concerned with spiritual growth, shows himself a pragmatist on this matter. “If anyone refuses to work, he should not eat.”

Virtue is usually midway between extremes. We should apply this to our appetite for money. On the one hand we have the voluntary poverty of Jesus; born in a place used to house animals; he left this world owning nothing, stripped even of his clothes before being crucified. On the other side, we need some worldly goods, a place to live and money to live on. And there are many ways to use money responsibly. Someone rich who uses that wealth to provide worthwhile employment, is doing more than one who claims to believe the gospel but does nothing for the welfare of others.

We “lay up treasure in heaven”, by living with integrity, not only honouring God but also caring for our neighbour. To live a good, honourable life we need to put to death our vices, especially greed which is like worshipping a false god. Nothing can better show the relativity of money than the question, “This pile of yours, when death comes knocking – whose shall it be?’

Rich, but not well furnished

Jesus speaks of treasure in heaven, as quite different from financial profit on earth. “There are no pockets in the shroud” is a wise old saying. To be poor in spirit, even if I am well off, so that my money does not own me, nor am I enslaved to it. It is a commonplace that while the first million (euro, pounds or dollars) may be the hardest to make, it breeds a compulsion to make even more. It cannot be right that some people own thousands of times more than the lowest-paid worker. Naked capitalism, unrestrained by some requirement of social sharing, is far from the fairness that God requires. There’s such a difference between monetary riches and spiritual wealth. There is no greater wealth than a loving, kind heart. Money cannot buy happiness.

It is such a simple lesson, but one we never will learn unless we want to. When we die, we have to let go of everything. A doctor was at the bedside of a wealthy woman who was dying, who a reputation for being miserly. She had no family of her own, so there was great interest as to who would inherit her wealth. (“Where there’s a will, there are relatives!’) When she passed away, one of the nurses whispered “I wonder how much did she leave behind?” Quietly the doctor answered, “She left everything.”


  1. Readings: 31 July 2022 – 18th Sunday (C)

    May the Lord guide and protect our Catholic Church. Thank you so much to all the participants of this website. You doing a great job of evangelisation. God bless you.

  2. Thara Benedicta says:

    Readings: 31 July 2022 – 18th Sunday (C)

    Key Message:
    When will there be fulfilment in our life?
    When we complete the tasks assigned by God, our Father!!

    King Solomon was born as a prince, lived as a king. He was gifted with wisdom such that there will not be anyone else equal to his wisdom on the earth and even in the future generations to come. He had wisdom, wealth, fame, good health, big family, power, whatever we may aspire for. But when he left God, he felt nothingness in his life.

    Solomon’s life is a practical lesson for all of us to think about our future. He has journeyed through life just like us, aspiring whatever we would like to aspire. He accomplished whatever he wanted to accomplish, just to find out there is no meaning in it. But his end was a summary of regrets not of joy. Think about it – All his life he has laboured, finally to understand that all his labour is a waste????

    God has ensured that Solomon’s wisdom is profitable for the entire humanity, by making him summarize his ‘Lessons learnt’ in the Bible – Ecclesiastes. Probably this is the best gift of King Solomon to all of us. We can see our life through the words of King Solomon. He had accumulated wealth, fame, and luxury for himself. On the whole he had everything in his life but also had nothing. He was not feeling satisfied with whatever he had. Nothing could make him happy.

    What was surprising is, how could a person who was blessed as the wisest man on earth, just write a book of regrets during the last days of his life? His book should have been a book of gratitude and thanksgiving to God, isn’t it?

    Now let us try to understand what was the miss in Solomon’s life. What would have taken Solomon to attain the fulfilment in his life? In Ecclesiastes he says, “I built houses for myself and planted vineyards..I made gardens, water reservoirs… I bought female and male servants for myself… I amassed silver and gold for myself… ” and so on…

    Here “for myself..” was the main differentiator.
    “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labour, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

    We understand that whatever he wanted to do, he did. He had his wishes fulfilled. He made his self-centred dreams come true. He never searched for what God had wanted him to do. If he had done that, God would have easily shown him. People all over the world came to know about Solomon’s wisdom and they visited him. If he had used this opportunity to show God’s compassionate heart to all who had come to him, the whole world would have known the true God at that point of time. He bought female and male singers only for entertainment. He could have made better orchestras to sing the glory of God. He could have conducted more houses for God and organised worship sessions and brought more people closer to God. He could have used his gardens as places of worship or any social activities…and so on.

    Why did he not do these even though he was the wisest person on the earth?
    Because he was not searching for the mission in his life.
    Hence all he was thinking was only about himself!! (like the majority of us!!!)

    Our Lord Jesus said, “Seek and you shall find”. Only when we seek we can find. If we do not seek what the mission is assigned by God for us, then how can we find it?
    What do we mean by our life’s mission?
    It is accomplishing the tasks given to us by our Almighty Father.

    We can summarize it as the two great commandments – “1. Love God above all. 2. Love your neighbours as thyself”.

    1. Loving God:
    It is for this reason that all of us have gathered together. If we do not love God, we will not attend Mass too. Though we have human weakness, all of us certainly love our Abba Father. There will be variations in the level of love. Our God testified about King David as “The man after my own heart”. King David worshiped our Abba Father with all his heart. This is the kind of love we all should aspire to. If we want to have a close relationship with our Lord Jesus, we should keep speaking with Him. The more we speak with Him, the more we can hear Him speak.

    2. Loving our neighbour:
    Our Almighty Father has given each one of us individual responsibilities. As He had said in Jeremiah “In your mother’s womb, I have anointed you as a prophet to the nations”. Our Father has anointed each one of us as “Someone special” for “Something “special”. We all come to the world tagged with God’s plan for us. We need to search for what God’s purpose is for us in our life. Like King Solomon, if we live only for satisfying our desires, then we are running our race in the quite opposite direction.

    Once a rich person questioned a counsellor, “I am working hard, earning good wealth. I have good family and friends. But still I am not feeling good about my life. There is no sense of fulfilment. I do not find any worth and value in my life. I really do not know what the purpose of my life is. What should I do?”
    The counsellor prayed to God and got the answer for her, “Do any kind of social service”.
    This gave satisfaction to this rich person’s heart and fulfilled the purpose of his life.

    In our Gospel reading of today too, the rich person was blessed in abundance. He did not think about sharing with others but was thinking about storing all the grains for himself. God had blessed him abundantly so that he could be a blessing to others. So though he did not cheat others explicitly, since he is not sharing with others, it is also a kind of cheating. Our Almighty Father is not against enjoying the luxuries of life, but He wants us to enjoy the luxuries of our lives with conscience. The mission of this rich person will be to act as God’s channel of blessing to the poorer ones.

    The same cannot be applied for a single mom struggling with three children. Raising the kids will be the mission of her life. Because this mom has to work hard just to keep her family going. Saint Monica’s mission was to change Augustine to being a saint. Her mission was accomplished.

    We may be among a group of non-Christian communities. Our mission will be to represent Christ in our actions to them. We may have been married to an alcoholic person. Our mission will be to change the person with our prayers. Prayers are more powerful than the world dreams of. God may have given us special children. God gives them only to parents whom he considers as ‘strong’ to take care of His weak little children. Dear parents, if you have special children, you are not less than anyone else. You are more than others.
    For Government authorities, it will be serving the people with clean hands. Once a government official expressed, “In all my career I have not taken a single penny as bribe”. He had such a sense of fulfilment when he had expressed it. His friends were corrupt and there were a lot of problems in their kids’ lives. But the lives of the children of this clean officer were flourishing.

    Our Lord Jesus, when He died on the cross, He expressed that His mission is accomplished. He said “It is done”. He fulfilled His mission.

    What are the tasks mentioned in the Bible for us, based on which our good God will give us judgement?
    Mathew 25:34 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
    God’s TO DO list for us is so simple and easy to accomplish!!

    St. Paul said, “I have run my race well. I have reached the finishing point”. All of us run our race too. We too work hard. But when we reach the finishing line, it should be God’s finishing line. We should be able to see Jesus there, clapping for us. We should receive our crown from Jesus!!

    Now where are we heading to? Is our Lord Jesus standing on our finishing line? Are we satisfied with our life? At the end of our time on this earth, would we have completed all the tasks assigned to us by our Almighty Father? Will our Lord crown us?
    If there is a “NO” to any of these questions, let us do the changes now. Before we leave the church of God, we should have the clarity of what is our life’s mission. Once we leave the church, we would already start running our race, without knowing what is the destination we are heading to.

    Let us close our eyes and pause for a while:
    1. What are the tasks God has assigned to you? (Mission of your life).
    2. What are the steps I am going to take to implement the changes?

    Write your findings in a paper and stick them on the wall, so that it will be in front of your eyes everyday, maybe in your restroom so that you will certainly see it and be reminded of your life’s mission.

    When we write our autobiography, let it be filled with joy and thanksgiving to God rather than filling it with tears and regrets.

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