Sanctification in Daily Work
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How Vain Are We Today

Today’s first reading at Mass (Ecclesiastes 1:2-11) made me feel compelled to make this note. I love this reading. Here’s a portion of the reading.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains for ever.
The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south, and goes round to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.

What hit me about this is how true it is in describing what I have felt as an arrogance by certain elements in our culture that think they know how things should be when in fact they know next to nothing and for all their words and actions, won’t even be remembered in the near future. Because of my work in agricultural communications I come into contact with people and information from groups who think they know how our government should work and be controlled, who think they know what everyone else should eat and who think they have found some new truth about the environment. Really? I think it’s more about using scare tactics to deceive stupid, gullible people into agreeing with them and providing them with power and control for their own purposes.

I’m all for sensible environmentalism. The farmers I know are the best environmentalists who walk the walk and talk the talk. The wackos who can do nothing but condemn every business trying to make a profit (farms) while holding their hands out to the government for a bailout have no credibility with me. But look at how much money groups like Greenpeace rake in. As if they are actually accomplishing anything or aren’t really trying to feather their own nests.

There’s so much good that can be done in the world but humility is needed as I think the reading of today suggests. Let’s take care of our resources but realize that there’s a bigger goal and that is to serve God and seek to join Him in His kingdom someday.

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