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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

Reflecting on Lk. 12: 13-21

I wonder about these two readings, the one from Ecclesiastes and the gospel, all the time. They make me uncomfortable, which is always a sign that I’m supposed to pay attention.

I recently learned that the sum of a person’s belongings in Jesus’ day could fit on top of a small table. That’s just mind-boggling. The ancients are so different from us. But the thing is, our mass accumulation of stuff is a fairly recent phenomena. Who of us had more than two pairs of shoes, or one coat, or two pencils in our pencil bag, when we were growing up?

My brother used to recall, with astonishment, that in our neighborhood of thirty kids, there was exactly one football, and it went home with the “rich kid” who owned it every night. He stayed on good terms with him, of course, or he couldn’t play football in the alley.

But still, the root of all my problems as a young child was managing my stuff. My crayons were never in my crayon vest. My homework was always falling out of the folder. The bus driver was always mad at me, racing for the bus, as my books and papers flew all over the sidewalk because I couldn’t manage it all.

If you have room for more stuff, you’ll get more stuff. And I know, absolutely, that managing my stuff has been the root of much unhappiness throughout my life.

And yes, on the day of my death someone will be there to ask, “Who will get her stuff now?”

I long for a focused, uncluttered life. The rest of it is just Vanity, and a chase against the wind.

How are you doing in the lifelong struggle to manage your stuff?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

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