Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, 31st July 2022

There is more to life than wealth and riches

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 word and song rather than grumble and worry. We should listen to his voice today.

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. I also pray for peace in the world.