Sunday, August 4, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 4, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! 2: 21 Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and yet to another, who has not labored over it, he must leave property. This also is vanity and a great  misfortune. 22 For what profit comes to a man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun? 23 All his days sorrow and grief is his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity.
P S A L M - Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
R: If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.
You turn man back to dust, saying, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. (R) 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. 13 Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! (R) 14 Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. 17 And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands! (R)
2nd READING - Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,  where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Luke 12:13-21
13 Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 14 He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 15Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 17 He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ 18 And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods 19 and I shall say to myself, ‘Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ 21 Thus will it be for the one who store up treasure for themselves but is not rich in what matters to God.”
think:  Let us be grateful that in our uniqueness God loves us and He knows and acts upon what is best for us as individuals.



I will never forget this priest I once visited in his convent in the province. I did not know him personally; he was only referred to me by a priest friend. I went to their place because I needed a room in which to spend the night before my next trip to another island. I was surprised when I saw his room, which was just about five by five meters, with only one old wooden bed, a stool, and a toilet and washroom combined. I ventured to ask him where his other furniture and things were. He answered by asking me the same question. I said that I was just passing by. He said that he, too, was just passing by.

       This truth of “passing by” this life seems to be forgotten by many. Some live as if they are certain to stay here for a long while. And then, suddenly, they are gone, together with their dreams, wishes, plans and other future intents. The Lord Jesus in today’s Gospel reminds us of this important truth. A song says it well: “We may never pass this way again.” Whatever good we must do, we should do it now, fortomorrow may never come. Death comes like a thief in the night; it comes at a time when it is least expected.

       There is nothing wrong with acquiring riches. God gave us gifts to use to make our lives meaningful. But that is what gifts are for — they are to be used to achieve life’s ultimate goal of reaching the Kingdom. Anything we acquire and generate with those gifts are to be spent for that main purpose. Because when the time comes, we will leave them all behind. So we must use them to advance our spiritual life.

       We can go back to the words of Jesus, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:20). Our destiny is heaven. It is what we must prepare and live for. Let us not be enslaved by the world. Let heaven be our constant focus. There, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away”(Revelation 21:4). Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What things do you focus on? What are your priorities in life? Take time now to assess and realign your priorities.
Holy Spirit, grant me a sense of detachment from the present materialism in the world. Help me to focus more on what waits in the afterlife.

St. John Vianney, priest, pray for us.

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