Eccl 1: 2; 2: 21-23 So much of life is often lived in a vain-glorious fashion. Too often we submit our judgments to the fear inspired by the possible disapproval of others. If we fall into this trap we will never discover our true selves and our personal gifts and talents will never reach fulfillment. We have to learn to take risks in developing our talents and character trusting that God knew what he was doing when he created us.

Jesus, help me to learn to trust in my inner self such that knowing I have been given life by you, that I should never fear to be myself, my true self.

Col 3: 1-5. 9-11 Paul does not waste time in getting to the heart of the matter. He also never compromises the truth he wants to speak. We are not left in any doubt as to his position on any matter he discusses. This is why we can be sure that the sins he lists here are serious because of the attention he gives them. They are all sins that lead to or are a result of too much self-focus in our lives. As he affirms at the end of the text for the Second Reading, it is Christ who should be our focus.

Holy Spirit, help me to grow in my hatred for all sins, particularly those that indicate selfishness. Help me to live my life in the service of others.

Lk 12: 13-21 Avarice destroys relationships as it undermines the trust and mutual belief in each other necessary for one. Avarice causes us to refuse to accept that we are different and demands that God treat everyone in exactly the same way! Can you think of a recipe for life more boring than this. We should rejoice in our differences as they are the basis for a greater variety of experiences of the goodness of God to us. Let us be grateful that in our uniqueness God loves us all and he knows and acts upon what is best for us as individuals!

Jesus, I trust that you have created me in love and that the same is true for all people. Help me to rejoice in the way you bless both myself and others as well.