Vanity of vanities!Luke 12:13-21
"Vanity of vanities!" so goes the first reading.
The text is short, yet, this saying seemed like an endless mantra to remind us of what? Let's see.
For a man who toiled for everything, yet he must leave what is his own to someone who has not toiled at all; this is vanity.
What has he actually gained for all his laborious days, his cares of office, his restless nights? This too is vanity.
On the other hand, there really is wisdom in this. I am reminded of Mark 8, 36: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul?" Vanity of vanities!
What makes things vain? Let us pray to expose vanities before it's too late, before they consume our lives. If we embrace worldly values and not consider eternal life beyond, this is vanity. If we remain in the narrow confines of our own world and not reach out to others, this is vanity. If eventually, the meaning of this world is us alone and not God, then it is vanity. But embracing what is opposite: eternal life, good of others, and God, accounts for real meaning in life.