18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 1, 2010
‘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.”
"This also is vanity and a great misfortune.
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. All things are vanity!
Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill."
We had never considered our family to be acquisitive, greedy, spoiled, wealthy, worldly,
consumer-oriented, or even very fortunate. But now, buried by toys our children couldn’t remember,
and surrounded by tools we had never used, we felt a sudden shiver of shame.
Sometimes, we wished we could live more simply.
Sometimes, we wished that we had the courage to just give it all away—
to start over – to remember how it feels to want something, and do without.
But deep down inside, we were afraid of empty closets and barren shelves.
We were afraid that without our “things”, our lives might unravel
or even worse, be unrecognizable.
After all, our belongings defined who we were, what we valued,
how we lived, who we loved… But, what would make us really happy?