18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
July 31, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.





Draw near to your servants, O Lord,

and answer their prayers with unceasing kindness,

that, for those who glory in you as their Creator and guide,

you may restore what you have created

and keep safe what you have restored.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, for ever and ever. Amen.


First Reading Eccl 1:2, 2:21-23

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.


Responsorial Psalm 90: 3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14,1 7

R/. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

You turn man back to dust,

saying, “Return, O children of men.”

For a thousand years in your sight

are as yesterday, now that it is past,

or as a watch of the night.


You make an end of them in their sleep;

the next morning they are like the changing grass,

Which at dawn springs up anew,

but by evening wilts and fades.


Teach us to number our days aright,

that we may gain wisdom of heart.

Return, O LORD! How long?

Have pity on your servants!


Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,

that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.

And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;

prosper the work of our hands for us!

Prosper the work of our hands!


Second Reading Col 3:1-5, 9-11

Brothers and sisters:

If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,

where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 

For you have died,

and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

When Christ your life appears,

then you too will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:

immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,

and the greed that is idolatry. 

Stop lying to one another,

since you have taken off the old self with its practices

and have put on the new self,

which is being renewed, for knowledge,

in the image of its creator. 

Here there is not Greek and Jew,

circumcision and uncircumcision,

barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;

but Christ is all and in all.


Gospel Acclamation Mt 5:3 

Gospel Lk 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,

“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 

He replied to him,

“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 

Then he said to the crowd,

“Take care to guard against all greed,

for though one may be rich,

one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. 

“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 

He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,

for I do not have space to store my harvest?’

And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:

I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. 

There I shall store all my grain and other goods

and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,

you have so many good things stored up for many years,

rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’

But God said to him,

‘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.”


Reflection Questions

What are the “vanities” you are most attached to yet profit you little?

How do you seek what is above?

What’s in your storehouse?


Catena Nova

Seek what suffices, seek what is enough, and don’t desire more. Whatever goes beyond that produces anxiety not relief: it will weigh you down instead of lifting you up….Greed will demand of you labor, danger, hardships, and troubles, and you will readily agree to its demands. And for what purpose? So you can have what will fill up your purse but empty out your peace of mind! (St. Augustine of Hippo)

Whatever you possess must not possess you; whatever you own must be under the power of your soul; for if your soul is overpowered by the love of this world’s goods, it will be totally at the mercy of its possessions. In other words, we make use of temporal things, but our hearts are set on what is eternal. Temporal goods help us on our way, but our desire must be for those eternal realities which are our goal. (St. Gregory the Great)

Who could count all those who have had wealth, power, honor? But their glory, their riches were only lent to them, and they wore themselves out in preserving and increasing that which they were forced to abandon one day. (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

There is a difference between possessing poison and being poisoned. Pharmacists keep almost every kind of poison in stock for use on various occasions, yet they are not themselves poisoned because it is merely in their shops, not in their bodies. So, too, you can possess riches without being poisoned by them if you keep them in your home, purse or wallet, but not in your heart. (St. Francis de Sales)

When Jesus tells us the story of the wealthy landowner who is a fool in God’s eyes he confronts us with the distinction between what is essential and non-essential. Life is more essential than food because when I’m dead I don’t eat. Are eternal Possessions more essential than temporal ones? What, then, should a person do? Should one concentrate on the things of Heaven and let earthly things go as they may? …. The more deeply people realize that Christ is the essential the less concerned they will be about everything else…. This is a tremendous truth. Christ is the condition for the realization of the providential order established by God. In telling us the story of the wealthy landowner Jesus is trying to anchor the hearts and minds of disciples in reality! Jesus wants us to know what counts in God’s eyes and what doesn’t. Jesus wants us to know what God sees as acceptable and what God sees as “fallen”…. This is one way that Jesus roots those who follow him in what is indestructible. Very gently, Jesus is immunizing us to all “unreality”. Faith enables us to distinguish between what is “real” enough to last forever and what is not. Those who seem today to be authorities and determine for those who follow them what is “really important” are endowing what is actually unreal with a fake reality. This is how “worldly wisdom” gets established. That is the fake wisdom of a prevailing social and economic order. That is how many decide what sort of property mustn’t be lost and what is or isn’t a threat to oneself or one’s life. If we follow Jesus in faith we become invulnerable to worldly wisdom and its values. Jesus is the Truth and that makes Jesus the Way who leads all who follow him to real Life. (Romano Guardini)

No matter what our aims may be, no matter how spiritual, no matter how intent we think we are upon the glory of God and his kingdom, greed and passion enter into our work and turn it into agitation as soon as our intention ceases to be pure.  And who can swear that his intentions are pure, even down to the subconscious depths of his will, where ancient selfish motives move comfortably like forgotten sea monsters in waters where they are never seen! In order to defend ourselves against agitation, we must be detached not only from the immediate results of our work – and this detachment is difficult and rare – but from the whole complex of aims that govern our security, from pleasures and possessions, from people and places and conditions and things.  We have to be indifferent to life itself, in the Gospel sense, living like the lilies of the field, seeking first the kingdom of Heaven and trusting that all our material needs will be taken care of into the bargain.  How many of us can say, with any assurance, that we have even begun to live like this? Lacking this detachment, we are subject to a thousand fears corresponding to our thousand anxious desires.  Everything we love is uncertain: when we are seeking it, we fear we may not get it.  When we have obtained it, we fear even more that it may be lost.  Every threat to our security turns our work into agitation.  Even a word, even the imagined thought we place in the mind of another, suspecting him of suspecting us – these are enough to turn our day into a millrace of confusion and anxiety and haste and who knows what other worse things besides! We must, first of all, gain a supernatural perspective, see all things in the light of faith, and then we will begin the long, arduous labor of getting rid of all our irrational fears and desires.  Only a relatively spiritual man is able even to begin this work with enough delicacy to avoid becoming agitated in his very asceticism!  (Thomas Merton)

The mystics — to give them their short, familiar name — are men and women who insist that they know for certain the presence and activity of that which they call the Love of God.  They are conscious of that Fact which is there for all, and which is the true subject-matter of religion; but of which the average person remains either unconscious or faintly and occasionally aware.   They know a spiritual order, penetrating, and everywhere conditioning through transcending the world of sense.  They declare to us a Reality most rich and living, which is not a reality of time and space; which is something other than everything we mean by “nature,” and for which no merely pantheistic explanation will suffice.  These men and women therefore give precision and an objective to that more or less vague thirst for the Infinite and Unchanging which, even in the rudimentary form in which most of us yet possess it, is surely the most wonderful of all possessions; that sense of another and unearthly scale of values pressing in on them; that strange appreciation of, and craving for, an unchanging Reality utterly distinct from themselves which is the raw material of all religion.  And it is through the work done by spiritual genius, its power of revealing to others at least something of that which it finds and feels, that average men and women obtain in the long run all their more vivid convictions in respect of the transcendent world; as through the work done by artistic or scientific genius they learn something of the significance and structure of the physical world. (Evelyn Underhill)


Going Green

     We have entered into that long stretch of “Green Sundays” known, like its shorter counterpart following Epiphany, as “Ordinary Time.”  While the term “ordinary” has the unfortunate connotation of being rather ho-hum with nothing special going on, the word in this context stems from another meaning whereby “ordinary” relates to the English word “ordinal,” i.e. a position in a numerical sequence. Indeed, the time after Pentecost is laden with solemnities and feasts that regularly punctuate these weeks with mysteries in honor of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin and other saints (Transfiguration, Assumption, Holy Cross, the Archangels, All Saints, All Souls, Immaculate Conception)— and they are anything but “ordinary.”  Yet even without these, the green season of the church year is of decisive importance for those who seek to sanctify time and live the spirit and rhythm of the liturgy, “the source and summit of the Christian life (cf. Vatican II.)

     With respect to the time after Pentecost in particular two of the greatest commentators on the liturgical year offer the following reflections. The great Benedictine abbot of Solesmes, Dom Prosper Gueranger in his opus magnusThe Liturgical Year, writes of the “mystery of the time after Pentecost,” that it “signifies and expresses this regenerated life [of the Spirit], which is to be spent on the model of Christ's, and under the direction of His Spirit….it is a season when holy Church reaps the fruits of the holiness and doctrine, which those ineffable mysteries have already produced, and will continue to produce during the course of ages. It is during this same season that we shall meet with the preparation for, and in due time, the fulfillment of, those final events which will transform our mother [the Church’s] militant life on earth into the triumphant one in heaven.”  In other words, it is time to “walk the walk’ of what we celebrated during the “strong seasons” of Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter.  

     The other commentator, Augustinian canon Fr. Pius Parsch in his The Church’s Year of Grace, emphasizes the Pentecost season as one in which the baptized, on whom the Spirit has been conferred, [are] living now in the time before the Lord’s return, [and] struggle continually with the forces of sin and evil that seek to overthrow the impending Reign of God already begun in the life of the church and her members. Thus he writes, “In Baptism the precious treasure of the Spirit was conferred. Through it we are God’s children and may call God Father. Through it we have become temples of the Holy Spirit, heirs and brothers of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Baptism has not translated us to a paradise without toil or trouble. Rather, we are sent out into a troubled world to work and struggle. We must guard the holy land of our souls against hostile attack. We must learn to know and conquer the enemy, and such is the task that will continue until we have taken our final breaths.”  In other words, we have work to do while we await the Lord’s Advent and hope not to be found idle.

     And as we journey and work, it is the liturgy that serves as the backdrop to the great drama of our unfolding salvation in which we are actors and participants: “The Church serves as both the heroine, who teaches us the art of warfare, and our strong fortress and shield in the conflict. Through Holy Communion, she bestows aid that repeatedly frees the soul from the entanglements of temptation. How does she do this? Courage and strength and perseverance flow from the Word of God in the Service of the Word, and they flow in even fuller measure from Holy Communion. Of ourselves we are helpless creatures, wholly unable to withstand the attack, but in Holy Communion Another battles for us. The Mightier, Christ, vanquishes the mighty.  By means of Holy Communion, we are enrolled in our  Captain’s forces.  And thus Christ’s battle becomes our battle and His triumph our triumph, and His wondrous strength renders us invincible.”

     Most recently, Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter on the subject of liturgical formation in which he said,

the liturgical year is for us the possibility of growing in our knowledge of the mystery of Christ, immersing our life in the mystery of His Death and Resurrection, awaiting his return in glory. This is a true ongoing formation. Our life is not a random chaotic series of events, one following the other. It is rather a precise itinerary which, from one annual celebration of the His Death and Resurrection to the next, conforms us to Him, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  (Desiderio desideravi no. 64; June 29, 2022)

     Indeed, the liturgical color that predominates in this season, green, is symbolic of hope.  The Christian life ought always to be imbued with the hope that, no matter the vicissitudes of history, so often marred by the consequences of human malice, or the trials and tribulations of our individual life, the ultimate purposes of God will win out, and the victory will be ours as we proceed from one year of grace to the next. 


Intercessions (Joe Milner; The Sunday Web Site)

For the Church: that we may recognize our dependence upon God for all things and let go of our attempts to control our own lives.

For a greater sense of the common good: that we may recognize that God’s gifts are for the benefit of the whole human family and never allow them to become idols that control us.

For freedom from anxiety: that we may never be seduced by the illusions of wealth, fame, power, or control, nor allow these to dominate our lives.

For an end to discrimination: that God will help us recognize the dignity of each person and never judge them on appearance, status in life, nor cultural origin.

For all who bear the burden of poverty: that God will sustain them each day, open new opportunities for them to use their gifts, and open our hearts to be generous in their time of need.

For all who live in the midst of violence: that God will break the cycle of violence, protect them from harm, and bring peace to their communities.

For wisdom and inspiration for government and legislative leaders: that God will give them insight into the true issues and the needed steps for change to promote the welfare of everyone.

For peace: that God will open new opportunities for dialogue between national leaders, increase their concern for the common good, and free them from the constraints of their egos.

O God,

the giver of every gift that endures,

only by your grace can we rightly understand

the wonder of life

and why it is given.

By the word of your Son

challenge our foolishness,

confront our greed,

and shape our lives

to the wisdom of the gospel.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)


Offertory Anthem (Orlando Gibbons)

If ye be risen again with Christ,
seek those things which are above
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on heavenly things
and not on earthly things, for ye are dead,
and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Whensoever Christ, which is our life, shall show himself.
Then shall we also appear with him in glory. Amen.

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn 

Vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity!

All of our striving and all of our toil

Are things we leave behind!

Each day and night we strive, we work,

And still at the end, we die: 

If today you shall hear the voice of the Lord,

Then attend God’s gracious Word!

Greed in all its forms brings death,

And “things” cannot give life.

Fools are we to grow rich for self

And not grow rich with God!

“Eat, drink, be merry,” calls the world

And still at the end, we die:

If today you shall hear the voice of the Lord,

Then attend God’s gracious Word!

Raised up now with Christ from death,

We set our hearts on high;

Hidden now with Christ who is our life,

To glory we shall rise!

Fix now our hearts on things above,

Yes, even though we die:

If today you shall hear the voice of the Lord,

Then attend God’s gracious Word!