EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME — Year C

First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:21-23

Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That’s what the Quester says.] There’s nothing to anything—it’s all smoke.
What’s there to show for a lifetime of work,
a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
That’s when I called it quits, gave up on anything that could be hoped for on this earth.
What’s the point of working your fingers to the bone if you hand over what you worked for to someone who never lifted a finger for it?
Smoke, that’s what it is. A bad business from start to finish.
So what do you get from a life of hard labor?
Pain and grief from dawn to dusk.
Never a decent night’s rest. Nothing but smoke.

(The Message, Eugene Peterson)

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME — Year C

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 95

Response: If today you hear your Creator’s  voice, harden not your hearts.

So don’t return us to mud, saying,
“Back to where you came from!”
Patience! You’ve got all the time in the world—whether
a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to you.

R: If today you hear your Creator’s voice, harden not your hearts

Are we no more to you than a wispy dream,
no more than a blade of grass
That springs up gloriously with the rising sun
and is cut down without a second thought?

R: If today you hear your Creator’s voice, harden not your hearts

Oh! Teach us to live well!
Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
and treat your servants with kindness for a change.

R: If today you hear your Creator’s voice, harden not your hearts

Surprise us with love at daybreak;
then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

R: If today you hear your Creator’s voice, harden not your hearts

(The Message, Eugene Peterson)