Come & See
Brief reflections on the week’s Scripture readings,
18th SUNDAY - Week of July 31, 2022
Vanity of vanities, says Qohelet. All things are vanity! ...
(Ecc 1:2, 2:21-23)
“A rich man had a bountiful harvest. ‘What shall I do, I do not have space to store my harvest?’ ...I shall build larger barns to store all my grain and I shall say, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!’”
(Lk 12: 13-22 adapted)
Pondering the Word …
Have you seen the images from the new Webb telescope? If not, take a minute to log onto to https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images/gallery and feast your eyes on the sheer majesty of God’s creation!
These images call to mind today’s words from Qohelet who is considered to be “a radical philosopher articulating…a powerful dissent from the mainline Wisdom” (Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: The Writings, p.673). In the Hebrew, all is “mere breath.”All our maneuverings and intrigues don’t matter in the least; all our ego battles and hoarding of things to prepare for a future that, as we hear in today’s gospel, could disappear into the ether overnight. We are but the tiniest of specks among innumerable tiny specks.
Some may read the Book of Ecclesiastes as a discourse on the futility of life and labors; indeed, the passage from today sure sounds like that. Some see it as an admonition that we are supposed to be suffering in this life, denying ourselves good things and joy. But I always like to include the verses that directly follow: “There is nothing better for a person than to eat and drink and provide themself with good things by their labors. Even this I realized is from the hand of God. For who can eat or drink apart from God?” (2:24-25)
I think Qohelet’s message is this: “Get over yourselves! It’s not all about you. Look up into the heavens in awe and amazement before the God who knows every hair on your head, who has your name written on the palm of his hand. Let God be God in your life, share your bounty, and enjoy the gifts of your loving Creator.”
Living the Word…
Parable Revisited: “A rich man had a bountiful harvest. ‘What shall I do, I do not have space to store my harvest?’ This is what I shall do: I’ll keep what I need for my family and go into the countryside and towns giving my bounty to the poor, and then I shall say to myself, now as for you, you have been blessed with God’s abundance. Eat, drink, be merry! The Lord has shared his goodness through you.’ And God said to him, ‘Oh wise and generous one. Soon you will join me to partake of the harvest that never ends. The things you have shared with others will nourish their bodies and souls, and your name will be written upon their hearts.’”
Mon, Aug 1:
“From of old, prophets who were before you and me prophesied war, woe, and
pestilence…But the prophet who prophesies peace is recognized as truly sent
by the LORD when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled.”
Tue, Aug 2:
For thus says the LORD: “Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise…(but)
I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity…You shall be my
people, and I will be your God.”
(Jer 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22)
Wed, Aug 3:
A Canaanite woman called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My
daughter is tormented by a demon.”….His disciples asked him, “Send her away,
for she keeps calling out after us.”
“I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts.”
(Jer 31: 31-34)
Fri, Aug 5:
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and
Sat, Aug 6:
“I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven.”
(Dn 7: 9-10, 13-14)
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