In the Bible, the word “vain” does not signify the same as today’s meaning.

Today’s “vain” is the person who is fussy over his appearance, attributes, and attitudes.

Today’s “vain” is the person who thinks himself the best and cut above the rest.

The book of Ecclesiastes (1streading), denounces what is vain, above all in the original meaning of the word – meaningless, pointless, senseless.

The author reminds us that much of the things we love to pursue on earth are meaningless if looked at from the perspective of eternity, from the eyes of God:

… abundant money cannot buy you happiness

… a flawless face and perfect body cannot guarantee that you’ll  find true love

… the intelligent one is not necessarily the wise one

… loyalties can shift and change according to convenience

… pleasure will meet its limits

… fame and glory can sometimes augur disaster

Jesus tells us in the gospel (Lk 12) that the most important thing of all is to become

“rich in matters of God”

… and not in matters of the self, or of the world!

But who really pays attention to these words?

Who wants to invest in eternal life?

We would rather see:

our money growing,

our business expanding,

our comfort increasing,

our approval rating ascending.

To these ends, people are willing to go to great lengths;

doing whatever it takes to gain success,

in earthly and material terms;

and forgetting what seems to unimportant or non-essential like

…sharing and generosity,

… moderation and sobriety,

… relationships with family and friends,

… and thinking of what is above (second reading, Col 3) which means the spiritual things.

Ask yourself:

What are you most excited about?

What motivates you to rise up in the morning?

What does your heart desire the most?

What preoccupies your mind each day?

Let us pray that the Lord will give us the grace to choose not the vain or pointless things but to prefer and decide for things that will really matter in the end, for the things of God!

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