the misery of money, power, and sex
"Vanity of vanities!" —Ecclesiastes 1:2
The book of Ecclesiastes is traditionally attributed to Solomon because its author, Qoheleth, is identified as David's son (Eccl 1:1). This association makes the message of Ecclesiastes more poignant. Qoheleth, or possibly Solomon, announced that everything is vanity, work and money are useless (Eccl 1:3), "there is nothing man can say" (Eccl 1:8), and all our entertainments are empty (Eccl 1:8).
This is quite a statement for anyone to make, but it's even more significant coming from the mouth of the wisest, richest man in the world. Most people think that someone with 700 wives and 300 concubines would have enough excitement to make life at least palatable (see 1 Kgs 11:3). But the one who had it all admitted he had nothing: vanity.
Is there any hope? Our hope is in Jesus alone. "We lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy, and so by nature deserved God's wrath like the rest. But God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us He brought us to life with Christ" (Eph 2:3-5). "There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rm 8:1). " 'Life' means Christ" (Phil 1:21).
Prayer: Father, "teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart" (Ps 90:12).
Promise: "Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!" —Ps 90:13
Praise: Cosmas and Damian, twin brothers, were physicians who expressed their faith in Jesus by practicing medicine free of charge. Jesus has continued to heal through their ministry as many miracles have occurred through their intercession long after their martyrdom.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Who Cares?)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996