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Thursday, September 24, 1998

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Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
Psalm 90
Luke 9:7-9

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jesus and the vain drain

"Vanity of vanities!" —Ecclesiastes 1:2

"All things are vanity!" (Eccl 1:2) Our work is wasted (Eccl 1:3). We live so we can die (see Eccl 1:4). The sun, the wind, the rivers, and all creation are trapped in a cyclical pattern (see Eccl 1:5-7). We are literally and futilely "going around in circles." Even talking about our problem is a problem (Eccl 1:8).

The more we know and experience, the more dissatisfied and empty we become (Eccl 1:8). We think we can change the future, but the future will be merely re-runs of the past (Eccl 1:9-10). Death overshadows life so much as to make life an exercise in self-deception and futility. We are tempted to view novelties and anomalies as signs that there are realities such as newness, freedom, and hope. However, these signs of hope, on closer inspection, become signs of doom.

Jesus became a human being and entered our vicious cycle of vanity, illusion, and despair. Although He was crucified and murdered, He was not destroyed by this fallen world. Jesus rose from the dead. This was new — radically and totally new. Jesus broke the spell of deadly vanity. "This means that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new!" (2 Cor 5:17)

Prayer:  Father, thank You for Your love in Jesus.

Promise:  "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart." —Ps 90:12

Praise:  Teenage Juanita studied the entire Catechism when it was first published. During the course of her study, the Holy Spirit gave her a profound insight into the nature of the Holy Trinity. Her faith has come alive, and she has committed herself to following Jesus.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998