A reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 1 :2; 2 :21 -23)

“What has a man from all the toil and strain?”

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. Sometimes a man who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by a man who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. What has a man from all the toil and strain with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of pain, and his work is a vexation; even in the night his mind does not rest. This also is vanity.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 90:3-4.5-6. 12- 13.14 and 17 (R. 1)

R/. O Lord, you have been our refuge, from generation to generation

You turn man back to dust,

and say, “Return, O children of men.”

To your eyes a thousand years

are like yesterday, come and gone,

or like a watch in the night. R/.

You sweep them away like a dream,

like grass which is fresh in the morning.

In the morning it sprouts and is fresh;

by evening it withers and fades. R/.

R/. O Lord, you have been our refuge, from generation to generation

Then teach us to number our days,

that we may gain wisdom of heart.

Turn back, O Lord! How long?

Show pity to your servants. R/.

At dawn, fill us with your merciful love;

we shall exult and rejoice all our days.

Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us;

give success to the work of our hands

O give success to the work of our hands. R/.


“Get your minds on things that are above, where Christ is.”

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians (Colossians 3:1-5.9-11)

Brethren: If 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 our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Sythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA Matthew 5:3

Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.


“The things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 12:13-21)

At that time: One of the multitude said to Jesus, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And 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; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

“What is better than money? More money!” this is an advertisement I saw some weeks ago. It sums up the greed for possessions and envy of wealth so characteristic of our age. Jesus says very little about taking that which belongs to others. But he speaks plainly and often about withholding that which others need. So the point of the Gospel story is not that there is anything wrong with the farmer amassing wealth, but that he intends to hoard it. That is his sin. He is called “foolish” because he does not recognize his wealth as coming from God. The first reading lays bare before us the meaning of human life without God. “Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity.” Perhaps the reason that not too many of us are entrusted with great riches is that God knows what would happen to our hearts as a result.


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