Lectionary Reflections: Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] July 31, 2016

Engaging Faith | Mon, Jul 25, 2016

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]

July 31, 2016


Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23

Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

Luke 12:13-21



July 30: World Day against Trafficking in Persons 

July 31: Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola

August 6: Feast of the Transfiguration

August 6: Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima 

August 9: Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb over Nagasaki



The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 2

In the case of needy peoples it must be asked whether belonging to the Church places people on a rich island within an ambient of poverty. In societies enjoying a higher level of consumer spending, it must be asked whether our life style exemplifies that sparingness with regard to consumption which we preach to others as necessary in order that so many millions of hungry people throughout the world may be fed.

-1971 Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 48

He [Patriarch Bartholomew] asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion”. 

-Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 9

Do not let a desire for wealth cause you to become so consumed by your work that you prevent happiness for yourself and your family.  

-Thich Nhat Hanh

I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! ... The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not, I repeat, not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: rather, it is the culture of solidarity that does so; the culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters. And we are all brothers and sisters! 

-Pope Francis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 25 July 2013


Thoughts for Your Consideration

There is a temptation in our culture to become addicted to work and accomplishments, to worry about money, to find one’s value in possessions and to judge life by one’s material wealth and status.  The scriptures strongly challenge this way of thinking and living.

Jesus says, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."  Paul writes: “Put to death the greed that is idolatry.”  The teacher in Ecclesiastes points out that all the fruit of human toil can sometimes just be “vanity.”

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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