A reflection for the eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Vivian Cabrera reflects on the readings for July 31, 2022.
Catholic Voices

Readings (Year C):

Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21 – 23
Psalms 90:3 – 4, 5 – 6, 12 – 13, 14 & 17
Colossians 3:1 – 5, 9 – 11
Luke 12:13 – 21

Reflection: Prosper the work of our hands.

“All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest,” we hear in the first reading.

Does this sound like anyone? It certainly feels like me. How many of us toss and turn with worry and dread all day long? It sometimes feels impossible not to. Our lives are full of sorrow and grief. Every time we tune in to the news or scroll on social media, more sorrow, more grief. And for those of us involved in justice work, it is embedded in the fabric of our daily lives. We dwell in the social injustices affecting our sisters and brothers, and it is sometimes difficult to find the reason behind it all.

The Psalmist provides us a remedy: “Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us!”


Love. Joy. Gladness. Even, or especially, amid the sorrow and grief, the Lord reminds us of what our life is all about.

But do we start the day by asking the Lord to remind us of this? Do we involve the Lord in our day, in the heartbreak and joy, in the grief and gladness that each day brings? I know I forget sometimes. Without this invocation, we revert to worry and dread and the helplessness that life can bring. Maybe this week, we can start small, asking the Lord to remind us of the reason behind our work.

Remind us, Lord, that the sorrow and grief will one day be worth it. Prosper the work of our hands!

About the author

Vivian Cabrera

Vivian Cabrera is a writer and editor in New York. She attends the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University.

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