Thursday 25th Week in Ordinary Time
I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord.
Should they cry to me in any distress,
I will hear them, and I will be their Lord for ever.
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law
upon love of you and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.
The sun rises and the sun goes down;
then it presses on to the place where it rises.
Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north,
the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
All rivers go to the sea,
yet never does the sea become full.
To the place where they go,
the rivers keep on going.
All speech is labored;
there is nothing one can say.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing
nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.
What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
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. R.
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. R.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants! R.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands! R.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive with favor, O Lord, we pray,
the offerings of your people,
that what they profess with devotion and faith
may be theirs through these heavenly mysteries.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
You have laid down your precepts to be carefully kept;
may my ways be firm in keeping your statutes. Ps 119 (118):4-5
I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me. Jn 10: 14
Prayer after Communion
Graciously raise up, O Lord,
those you renew with this Sacrament,
that we may come to possess your redemption
both in mystery and in the manner of our life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
View the Order of Mass
We are reminded today that “vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” If we do not understand this earlier, we may spend our entire life on vain things.
▪Recently, I saw a video clip of large amount of money hoarded somewhere in one part of the world, with many stories surrounding it. One version said that the owner was once in political office and was able to grab more than enough, but was unable to enjoy the fruits of his labour before the ugly hands of death held him. The said amount is approximately above 2 million dollars.
~ The money was no longer good to be used because of where and how long it was stored. The owner did not tell others that such amount was there. The owner is gone as well as the money too.
~ May we always remember that nothing lasts forever. Wherever you are now; in whatever positions we are occupying presently, may we remember that everything is temporal.
▪Just because of maintaining his temporal honour, Herod had to give the head of John the Baptist, to fulfil his oath. When he heard about Jesus, he longed to see him to fulfil his curiosity that it was not John. Most of the things people die for or are killed for are not far from the same vanity. Nations: rising against nations; kingdoms against kingdoms; families against each other; races against races; religion against each other; political parties against each other, are greatly driven by the love of vanity.
~ We hate each other and kill each other for vanities. Our competitions against one another are motivated by this great love for vanities.
~ Our hearts have become theatres of hatreds and evil because where one’s treasure is, there will the heart be also, (c.f. Matthew 6:21).
▪Dear friend, if we live for vanities, we will die for vanities. Those who die for vanities are lost forever and not remembered. They are like fools who built their houses on sand, (c.f. Matthew 7:27). Eternal life is too precious to be exchanged for anything. Everything can be replaced, but eternal life cannot be, once lost.
~ May God give us the wisdom to live our lives thinking about eternity and not for vanities. Through Christ our Lord. Amen “Vanity sows wicked anxiety, takes away peace. It’s like those who put on too much make-up, and then are afraid the rain will come and all that make-up will come streaming down.” Pope Francis
May God save us from the love of vanities
God bless you
Fr Joseph Chukwugozie Ikegbunam
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Stowe and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Morrisville, Vermont, USA