Toil and anxiety of the heart – Vanity!

Season of Harvest

Greetings on this the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23; Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17; Col 3:1-5, 9-11; Lk 12:13-21
Notes: Do not work for food that will perish, but for food that lasts to eternal life.

This is a question of the heart not of the body.
Yes, we must eat.
Hunt, gather and harvest.
But in the matter of the heart we should be at rest in the Lord.

Today, July 31st, 2022, is an interesting day of transition.

July ends the growing season for many crops.
August-September is called the Season of Harvest (August 5 to September 22, traditionally).

First reading
For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart
with which he has labored under the sun?
All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation;
even at night his mind is not at rest.

  • Does this mean we shouldn’t work?
  • Does this mean we shouldn’t worry?

No, this is about the Vanity of Human Toil.
Vain: two definitions.

  1. Having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.
  2. Producing no result; useless

In our responsorial we sing: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Toil and anxiety of the heart.
The second reading gives us the toil we should avoid.

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly (vain):
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.

This is the vanity of which the first reading speaks.

Responsorial Psalm
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
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!

This is the harvest of Love.

Second reading
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.

And for all.

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

Gospel Portion
But 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?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Anxiety of the heart in this gospel portion:

  • Get a lawyer and sue your brother.
  • Hoarding your bountiful harvest of the Earth.

Pathway Forward:

  • Interior conversion yields exterior righteousness.
  • Sometimes to begin we start with the external and work toward the internal.
  • Sometimes to begin we start with the internal and work toward the external.

But it always arrives at the same place:

Reliance up on the Lord for all things.
Acting rightly among one another.

Vanity is putting emphasis on things that are of lesser value or even useless.

Reflecting the image of God and called to the likeness of God is of the highest value and greatly useful.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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