Bible Corner

The first reading this weekend, taken from the book of Ecclesiastes, begins with a phrase that most of us would have heard. It is like a catchphrase — a well thought out statement to capture the attention and get people to reflect. Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says, Vanity of vanities. All is vanity! When we read the full passage we can see what is present in the mind of the author and we can look at it also in the context of the second reading and its list of what we ‘must kill…that belongs to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires and especially greed’ and that ‘especially greed’ leads us to the Gospel where Jesus says, ‘Watch; and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’ The sin of greed can exist on all levels — we see examples of it on small scales and on large scales. We hear talk of financial markets and their importance and decisions having to be made to keep the markets safe. Decisions on how the markets develop are often made by people who are well protected financially and who are ensuring that the level of finance they are personally involved in is secure while they often refuse to look at the ordinary, everyday needs of the people who may be on minimum wage which in a lot of places is lower than the ‘poverty line’. That is only one problem that exists in our world and yet it effects millions of people. the greed of an elite can lead to the suffering of many. A recent decision taken at the top level of one of our banks has been rescinded due to the reaction it received. in the statement made it referred to it not being the right time for it. I think that it will never be the right time for what they were proposing for more than one reason. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.