St. Augustine of Hippo in his book entitled THE CONFESSIONS opined ”Our hearts are restless until they find rest in God.”
Man spends the whole of his life to acquire wealth, properties, to make investments and to be financially sound. All with the aim of securing the future and his happiness. Due to this, some care less about the means of acquiring these transient material possessions; good or bad. After all, to some the end justifies the means.
The quest for these possessions have created unhealthy competitions, greed, cheating, jealousy and all sorts of unpleasant behaviors and attitudes that have endangered personal relationships (both Divine and Human) which have broken confidence and trust. Therefore, the peace and happiness we claim that the acquisition of all of these material possessions will bring have rather become like a mirage leading human beings into oblivion. Hence, Man has never become satisfied and content. This is because chasing after vanities is like chasing after wind and deceiving one’s self that you can catch it. Then, after all, what value has this earthly life for man?
The author of our first reading helps us to pause a minute and take a deeper reflection of our decisions, heart desires, plans and thoughts about our existence. We fool ourselves into believing that our possessions will bring us happiness and life. Because of this, people claim they don't have time to go to church, to pray, to read the word of God, even to visit family and friends. The usual parlance is, "I am busy! I don't have time!" We toil all day amassing everything to secure our happiness and peace, all to no avail. "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!" (Eccl 1:2)
Beloved one, know that the meaning of life, true happiness, peace and joy cannot be found in possessions but in the sharing of time, treasure and talents with the needy. The Psalmist also exhorts us to carefully listen to the voice of the Lord but not harden our hearts. For human life passes swiftly on earth, and must end in death and the return of the body into dust.
The Apostle Paul also in the second reading urges us to set our hearts on what will last forever; focus rather on Christ. In the waters of baptism we died with Him (Rom 6). Paul warns that greed for wealth and influence is idolatry. He insists, "Put to death your parts that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry" (Col 3:5). Let CHRIST be your first priority before every other thing. Indeed, a life without Christ is full of crises.
Jesus in the Gospel makes it crystal clear that we should be very careful about all types of greed in our attempt to acquire possessions and power, because greed takes our life’s focus away from God and away from serving and loving Him in other people. Life does not consist in possessions but in sharing what we possess with others.
To conclude with, we must know that the real meaning of life and it's happiness, peace and joy is not found in material possessions or earthly influences but rather instead found in possessing God, listening to His son Jesus Christ and sharing with others what we possess as we live well with them. Anything short of this will make our hearts restless until they find rest in God. Let God be your possession not vanities! May He increase our faith. Amen.
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.