Today's Gospel reading from Saint Luke gives us Jesus' parable about the rich man who has such abundance that he decides to tear down his barns and build larger ones to store all of his excess. Pleased with tis plan, he says to himself: "[I] have so many good things stored up for many years,rest, eat, drink, be merry!" (Lk 12:19) But, God rebukes him saying, "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" (Lk 12:20) And so it is, Christ tells us, for all of those who store up their treasure on earth, but do not build up a richness in their faith - all we have will belong to someone else and ultimately will return to dust. Even our bodies are subject to this ultimate physical demise. However, our treasure in heaven is the spiritual destination to which we are all called and which is made available to us only by the merits of our savior, Christ the Lord.
In the same vein as today's Gospel message, the first reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes, begins with the description of everything on earth as vanity: "Here is one who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and yet to another who has not labored over it, he must leave property." (Eccl 2:21) This ancient author of the Book of Ecclesiastes describes for us the belief that there is a divine plan for humanity, but it is hidden from us, and those who search for happiness only here on earth will never find it. Of course, we Christians know that what was hidden under the law before Christ, is revealed to the faithful by Christ. Our destiny and purpose of life is to serve our Lord as we love one another, and to ultimately reside in the fullness of God's love in heaven for eternity.
The futility of searching for true happiness on earth is why Saint Paul exhorts the Colossians in today's second reading to "[t]hink of what is above, not of what is on earth." (Col 3:2) Saint Paul's exhortation is just as relevant today as it was at the time it was written, and properly puts our focus on the Kingdom of God, not our worldly kingdoms on earth:
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.
(Col 3:5, 9-11)
Praise our Lord and and trust in the motherly protection and intercession of our Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven.