Reflection by Fr Samuel (30th/31st July 2022)

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear friends in Christ, 

Vanity of Vanities

In our quest to pursue happiness and fulfill our ambitions in life, human beings continue to ask, “What Next?” Graduation, a decent job, house, car, retirement, vacations, etc.  What’s next after all these is the inevitable element: Death. This’s where the philosophical question comes, is that all? To the unbeliever maybe yes, but to the Christian, there is eternity because we have been created by God for the purpose of knowing, loving, and serving him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in heaven (Baltimore catechism). Anything short of this is vanity. 

How miserable we will be if after all the successes in life and in the end we are excluded from the Eternal Kingdom. This is the reason why Qoheleth says all is vanity. Nothing material goes with us. What matters is Faith, Hope, and Love – these three things endure – 1 Cor 13:13. Neglecting them in pursuit of material things will not help us enter the Kingdom of God. 

Let us find a balance in all that we do in this world, by praying and working. St. Augustine thoughtfully put it, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” With this, we will surely not toil in vain because we would have stored up treasure in heaven and become rich in what matters to God. 

As we try to strike a balance in life, let us also be watchful of the P. H. Ds in life. The Pull Him / Her Downs, according to St. Paul in the second reading that we should put to death, namely, immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Indulging in them will get us nowhere. These too are vanity. Why bother and waste precious time on them? The Lord speaks and so let us not harden our hearts. 

On a personal note, I bring you greetings from the USA where I have been a missionary priest since December 2018. Rural Iowa is dominated by large farmlands which grow corn and soybeans, and rear cows. I’m finding fulfillment and enjoying my ministry in that part of the USA. 

This Sunday, I’m blessed to be able to celebrate the first wedding anniversary of my brother James and his wife Janet who have been working in the UK as nurses since 2019. They had their wedding in Ghana last year which I could not attend. Thank You to  Fr. Joe, the parish team,

and the entire SJV parish community for the usual support

which I enjoy since I first came to the parish in 2008. May the Almighty God bless and keep us all today and forever!  Fr. Samuel Danso

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