18th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year C

Published on 29 Jul 2019
A barn in summer.

‘Greed … is the same thing as worshipping a false God.’

Draw near to your servants, O Lord,

and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness, that,

for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide,

you may restore what you have created

and keep safe what you have restored.

Today’s readings are about material things and our attitude towards them. Are they at the centre of our lives? The texts also suggest that what we are is more important than what we have.

Qoheleth, ‘the Preacher’, who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes 300 years before Christ, gives a pessimistic view of the world. Is it worth working hard and worrying about our wealth, since we have to leave it to others after our death? He declares: ‘All is vanity!’ (First Reading)

The Gospel develops the same theme. The main problem with wealth is that it risks taking centre stage in our life, and displacing God from His rightful position. What really matters is making ourselves rich in the sight of God.

St Paul, in the Second Reading, develops similar ideas. As Christians, we should put aside our former preoccupations – in particular greed – and turn our thoughts to ‘heavenly things’, for Christ is ‘in everything’.

As the Psalm encourages us, we ought to praise and thank the Lord in words and songs rather than grumble and worry. We should listen to his voice today.

So this week, I might want to make some time each day to listen to what the Lord is telling me about myself, and about my relationship with others and with money.

O God come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me. You are my rescuer, my help.     Entrance Antiphon

O that today you would listen to his voice!      Psalm

There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.      Second Reading

Happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.       Gospel Acclamation

Watch and be on your guard against avarice … a person’s life is not made secure by what they own.      Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further

Ecclesiastes 1: 2, 2: 21–23; Psalm 89 (90) or 94 (95); Colossians 3:1–5. 9–11; Luke 12:13–21