Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18
Yesterday, the Holy Spirit encouraged us to praise the Lord for all his enduring care, guidance and love towards us. Today, He returns our heart to the vanity in all that we cherish as human beings, except the knowledge and love of the Creator. Therefore, this is a time for self-examination as we prepare to rededicate ourselves once again to Christ at Christmas. Verse 14 of our scriptural reference today says, “It is a burdensome task which God has given to the humans! I have seen everything that is done under the sun, but all is meaningless; it is chasing the wind”. Beloved, it is possible that throughout this year, your concern had been how to accumulate wealth and perhaps enjoy life as much as possible. The Spirit says that if you want satisfaction and to enjoy life, consider all those possessions as earthly, transient and vanity. It is only when you develop this mindset that you can cultivate the needed love for the Giver of all the things. It is also possible for you to appreciate how close or far away, you are from your Creator. Beloved, as early as the second day of this month, the Spirit of God wants us to go into stocktaking of ourselves so that we can walk into 2016 fully prepared and armed with God’s graces to declare and dictate what happens in the name of Jesus Christ.
According to St. Joseph Calasanz, “If in serving God you seek your own convenience, you are not sawing God but yourself. ” Hence St. John Eudes advises thus: “Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there. ” Friend, nothing can satisfy the man but the Lord’s love and the Lord’s own self. No wonder king Solomon testifies as follows: “I became great, surpassing all my predecessors in Jerusalem without losing wisdom. I refused myself nothing that the eyes desired nor did I deprive my heart of any pleasure. I enjoyed all that I undertook and that was my reward. Then I considered all I had achieved by my work and all the toil it had entailed and found that it was all meaningless and chasing wind. There is no profit under the sun” (Eccl. 2:9- 11). “Vanity of vanities all is vanity” (Ecc 1:2). Solomon, the great monarch of Israel, found out that there was absolutely nothing in all his wealth. There was nothing in all the powers that he welded as the king of Israel. He found out that there was no permanent or enduring satisfaction in all he possessed; rather they aided to suffocate his spirit and retard his growth towards his relationship with God.
St Paul writing to the Roman Christians says, “Those walking according to the flesh tend towards what is flesh; those led by the Spirit to what is spirit. Flesh tends towards death, while spirit aims at life and peace” (Romans 8:5 – 6).As we gradually come to the end of this year, let us examine our relationship with the Lord. How much reverence have we given to God our Creator? Have we spent our time chasing and accumulating wealth and wordily possessions? How much care and love have we shown the less privileged around us? Have you placed yourself in a position where you want others to prostrate before you? If you have spent this year in these vanities of life, take heed today in the words of St. John Chrysologus, “Clothe yourself with the garment of sanctity, gird yourself with the cincture of chastity; let Christ be the covering of your head; let the Cross of Christ be the protection for your face; instill in your breast the sacrament of divine wisdom, let the odours of your prayers always ascend upon high. ” The scripture says that “They are like a tree planted by the waters, sending out its roots towards the stream. While those who lay their confidence on man and possessions are like bunch of thistles in the dry land, in parched desert places, in a salt land where there are no lives and who never finds happiness” (Jer. 17:8)
- Thank God for this new day and all that shall happen today
- Take the following prayers:
- Prayer of Self Surrender to God
- Daily Consecration to God
- Prayer of Divine Mercy in this book.
- Lord, God of mercy, have mercy in everything that I have done
- As this year comes to a close, I remember how much I attached myself to the vain possessions of this life. I beseech you, Holy Lord to help me focus more unto you than anything else in the coming year.
Exercise: Share this reflection with someone who is so drawn to earthly possession.
Memory Verse: Mark 8:36