Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
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.
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.
This also is vanity. (Ecc 1:2;2:21-23)
That, very well, may be the key word for the day.
How do we look at things? What do we judge what is good or bad, right or wrong?
What is the ultimate reason or purpose for what we do?
Our human nature makes us tend to do everything, think everything, plan everything for the sake of self.
However, doing things solely for our self is not the purpose that God had in mind for us. God wants us to look outward, to plan for the benefit of others, to include all people into our world.
That is what gives us purpose and that purpose, if acted upon rightly, will give us fulfillment and joy.
Today’s Gospel follows up this very thought. A rich man built a splendid barn in order to keep all his possessions. However, upon the day of the barns completion, God said, “Your life is required of you this very night.” To whom will all that built-up wealth go?
God has blessed us richly not only for our own benefit but also so that we could share our blessings with others, especially those who are less fortunate.
If we have the proper perspective on life, the poor and needy will be in our sights and we will make plans for them. If our perspective on life includes only ourselves, that is vanity, indeed.
FAITH ACTION: In your prayer this day, ask God to give you the grace to approach all that you do with the proper perspective.