July 31 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bonus points if you can name the title of the movie from this short quote; “Squirrel!”  It’s a humorous line in reference to a short attention span of a dog.  But I also use the phrase and smile when it applies to my own life and short attention span.

Hopefully, we are all well aware that the human heart and mind can get distracted easily.  When trying to do menial tasks at home or at work, but even when we are praying, our mind wanders.  One thing that is necessary to fight the fickleness of our hearts and minds is to stay focused, or constantly draw our minds back to our ultimate goal.  This is the beautiful witnesses of the Saints and their story, on how they remained focused on Heaven and the Lord.  Even in the midst of possible distractions, they remained faithful to keeping their eyes set on the Lord.

That is what our readings are trying to do this weekend.  From Ecclesiastes to our Gospel, the readings seem grim; with vanity of vanities to the parable stating, “you fool, this night your life will be demanded of you.”  The intention of the readings is not supposed to be one of fear, but to remind us of our ultimate end. Things of this world are fleeting and what we need to do is set our sights on the Lord in Heaven, which is our final end and desire.  Hence, in the Our Father prayer we say – Our Father, who art in heaven!  It is meant to point us to heaven.

So let us be encouraged by Saint Paul in our second reading, “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”  As we come to the Eucharist, a foretaste of heaven and union with God, let us continually draw our minds and hearts to the ultimate end that we seek. Communion with God in Heaven!

Father Michael