SUNDAY 18 – MAKE YOURSELF RICH IN THE SIGHT OF GOD
The scripture readings today highlight the futility of the greedy acquisition of wealth and power because everything and everyone is “here today and gone tomorrow.” So, the meaning of life cannot be found in selfishly hoarding wealth and possessions, but only in sharing these with the needy. The brevity of life and the certainty of death disclose the futility of much human striving for success. As Psalm 49:17 reminds us: ‘We take nothing with us when we die. Our wealth does not follow us into the grave’.
The bleak philosophy of life reflected in the first reading certainly an antidote to the naïve optimism of those who believe that things will always turn out for the best. It also raises the question about the ultimate meaning of human life. Is there any enduring value or purpose that is worth striving for? This is a question to which the author of Ecclesiastes does not provide a final answer. But Jesus gives us in today’s gospel, namely to ‘make yourself rich in the sight of God’
But how do we become rich in the sight of God and resist the blandishments of the advertising industry? Our second reading today from St Paul’s Letter to the Colossians points out the way: ‘You must seek the things that are above, where Christ is’ (Col 3:1). These things are the counter-cultural values of love of God, service of others, especially the poor, and respect for creation. The God of Jesus Christ is a God who, in the words of the Magnificat, ‘fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty’ (Lk 1:53).
RESTORATION OF SUNDAY MASS OBLIGATION
In March of 2020, Bishop Paul had dispensed with the obligation to Sunday Mass because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the public pandemic restrictions have been lifted for public gatherings, including public worship, the Bishop has restored the Sunday obligation for Catholics in the Diocese of St. Paul, starting on Sunday, June 5, 2022, the Solemnity of Pentecost.
As has always been the case, anyone with a “serious reason” or a “grave cause” is excused from this obligation. Such reasons include:
– Anyone who is sick, symptomatic or recently exposed to COVID-19
– Anyone with serious health risk factors requiring them to avoid public spaces
– Anyone who cares for sick persons
– Anyone who cannot attend Mass because of frailty or old age.