18th Ordinary Sunday, 31 July: Ecc 1:2; 2:21-23; Ps 90:3-6, 12-14, 17; Col 3:1-5, 9-11; Lk 12:13-21 ~ our days are numbered

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God’s Word calls us to recognize the transience of life, to keep our eyes on what is lasting.

Opening Prayer:

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 our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

“God of Our Fathers”


A Reading from the Old Testament: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23 (NLT)
[The Preacher tells us that it is easy to fall into the trap of vanity.]

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

Ecclesiastes Pascal

Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy. So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.

A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17 (NLT)

You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.

You sweep people away like dreams that disappear. They are like grass that springs up in the morning. In the morning it blooms and flourishes, but by evening it is dry and withered.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay? Take pity on your servants! Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!

“Psalm 90” – James Block


A Reading from the Letters: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11 (NLT)
[Leave sin behind, says Paul, and look to Christ. He is a model worth imitating.]

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

hidden in Christ

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 12:13-21 (NLT)
[Jesus’ warning against greed is accompanied by a reminder of what it means to follow him: we must be always prepared.]

Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”

Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

“Be Thou My Vision” – Tommy Walker


Intercessory Prayer:

God of endless generations: help us as we lay out our needs before you today.

+ That church leaders may live the simple life they preach…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the wealthy may share with those who are hungry and poor…. Lord, hear us.
+ That men and women who work too hard may find rest in you this summer…. Lord, hear us.
+ That there may be peace and forgiveness in families…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those who suffer, in mind or body or spirit, may have peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all the people on vacations may travel safely…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all who have died recently, especially Fr. Jacques Hamel (martyred in France), may enter heaven where Christ sits at God’s right hand…. Lord, hear us.

O God, you have been our refuge and our strength, from one generation to the next: hear your people’s prayer today, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Elohim Lanu Machaseh Va’oz – The Lord is Our Refuge & Strength”



Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 24-25

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen