⏰Thursday of the Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time 2 (27 Sept. 2018 – Memorial of St. Vincent de Paul)

📖Eccl 1:2-11; Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17 (R.v.1); Luke 9:7-9

The Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes had one mission in mind – to find out where lies the value of all things. He searched for this value in pleasure, knowledge, labour, time, friend, wealth, women, etc but always found meaninglessness in all these. That is why he began the book by saying, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (Eccl 1:2).

Everything in this world will fail – friends, authority, wealth, fame. But there is something that would never fail – God. That is why the composer of that book concluded with these words of exultation, “Fear God and obey his precepts, for man depends entirely on this” (Eccl 12:13).

Let us learn from the experience of Herod the tetrarch in Luke 9:7-9. Even with all his wealth, fame and power, he became wearied at the deeds of Jesus because his previous evil deeds were catching up with him.

How do we use the opportunities that come to us in life? Do we use the authority and wealth that we are given to oppress people? Is our influence channeled towards to good of others for the sake of Christ and not for our own glory?

Things in this world are good but it would be better if they help us to gain the things of the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “Store up treasures for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief break in and steal it” (Matt 6:20).

St Vincent de Paul, whose memorial we celebrate today was able to use his entire life and ministry to build up a community of love for God here on earth and saved up treasures in the kingdom of God. He learnt to mortify himself in order to help those who are in need. That led him to form Congregations of Priests and Religious that are charged with missions and charity. And he was able to succeed in all those because of his union with God.

As you make effort to place your trust in God, may he never abandon you in your times of trial and, especially, at the time of judgement in his kingdom. Amen.

Have a joyful day devoid of hopelessness. Peace be with you.

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