The deeper, lasting things of God Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Eighteenth Sunday
of Ordinary Time

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Luke 12:13-21

"All things are vanity!" we read in Ecclesiastes this week as our Scriptures warn us of the spiritual dangers of greed, possessions and worldly pleasures.

Ecclesiastes, with its exclamation points, decries "things" as selfish desires that suck dry our time and energy and leave us with nothing of lasting value.

Jesus' teaching in Luke's Gospel is more direct: "One's life does not consist of possessions," he says, then tells a parable about a rich man spending his time eating, drinking, being merry and storing up earthly treasure. But Jesus emphasizes there's no guarantee that treasure will be maintained after one dies.

Strangely, "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die" has become a popular catchphrase used to encourage people to avoid worrying about life beyond here and now. But it carries a significantly different message for those who believe in a deeper existence in relationship with God.

My friend Susan is one such believer whose radical rejection of material concerns showed me the greater joy that comes of a commitment to the things of God.

A single mother with a successful career as a professional editor, Susan had built a comfortable life for herself and her daughter. She owned a nice home on several acres of property.

I met her at a crucial time in her life. We were together on her first ever mission trip among the poor. I could see Susan following God's urging as she daily searched for the meaning of this experience in her life.

A few years later, she joyfully told me her daughter was expecting a baby. Then everything changed for Susan.

Her grandchild had multiple disabilities that brought enormous challenges to the young family.

Susan didn't think twice as she took early retirement so she could help care for her granddaughter. She managed the consequent financial pinch by selling her home and most of her furniture and accumulated possessions.

She misses none of them, because Susan was changed years earlier among the poor when she discovered the deeper, lasting things of God's life.

Now she relishes the abiding pleasures of being an essential part of her daughter's family and watching her granddaughter progress and thrive every day.

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: July 2016 Print E-mail
July Universal Intention

Indigenous Peoples
That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect.

July Evangelization Intention

Latin America and the Caribbean
That the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, by means of her mission to the continent, may announce the Gospel with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2016.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Friday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 5
Ascension Thursday
Monday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Tuesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Thursday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Sunday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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