Readings for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Ecclesiastes 1:2,12-14; 2:18-26; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21
If you waken early on a humid, summer morning and look outside, you’ll often see a thick layer of mist hovering just above the ground. But as soon as the sun’s rays emerge over the eastern horizon, that water vapor which appeared so substantial quickly vanishes; now you see it – now you don’t!
King Solomon describes all our earthly possessions as “vanity” – a word that literally means “vapor”. Like the morning mist that dissolves before our eyes, so are the things we store up for ourselves on earth. Woe to the person who tries to find security and joy in their “stuff”! The wise person lifts their eyes ABOVE the sun to find lasting contentment. (Eccl 2)
Jesus warns the crowds about the dangers of greed with the Parable of the Rich Fool. Bad things happen when we lose sight of the Giver and start thinking of our possessions as ours to do with however we please. Instead of being generous and others-focused, we become greedy and selfish. Only when our soul is delighting in Christ will we not be disappointed (Lk 12).
Paul commands up to “cast off” and “put on”. Cast off the old mindset of chasing pleasure wherever my sinful heart can find it. And put on my new identity given to me by Jesus. Having been raised with Christ from our spiritual death, we are being molded daily more and more into the image of God. Our glory is in Him. (Col 3)