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(Ecc 1.2;2.21-23; Col 3.1-5,9-11; Lk 12.13-21)

One of the strengths of traditional capitalism was what has been called ‘deferred gratification’, that is, not spending now so as to be able to save for more important needs and occasions. Sadly now, the ease of obtaining credit and the built-in redundancy of many items means that for many people low wages and prudent investment cannot keep pace with the basic needs of life such as food, rent and clothing.

Much of this decadent capitalism is driven by FOMO (fear of missing out). Seductive advertising and adulation of the rich and famous hold out hope of glittering prizes for all. As so often, Jesus’ trenchant observation, “though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions” (Lk 12.15), exposes the falsehood behind such empty dreams.

The rich and the famous are hit by death, suicide and infidelity as much as anyone (Lk 12.20). Yet even more, preoccupation with the joy that glittering homes and overseas jaunts could bring, can eat away at what in the long run brings steady and lasting joy – the sense of being at home with oneself and sharing the love, loyalty and support of loving friends and family (Ecc 2.21-23).

Source: 18th Sunday year C1

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