Word To Life
Sunday Scripture Readings, Sept. 26, 2010
By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service
September 26, Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle C Readings:
1) Amos 6:1a, 4-7
2) 1 Timothy 6:11-16
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
Father Luke works with a team serving the homeless who live in camps scattered around overgrown and out-of-the-way areas of Fort Worth, Texas. These homeless mistrust the system of shelters, which they believe harbor lawless people who might do them harm. They go it alone or in the company of others who want to live apart from both the social services community and the regular world of 9-to-5 daily work.
These are the poor hidden from our view. Father Luke and his co-workers, paid by the city of Fort Worth, seek to help these people get into regular housing. But they start by accepting them where they are, offering them companionship; concern and access to medical, dental or legal services that can help them resolve the problems in their lives.
Most Sundays, Father Luke is in the pulpit of St. Andrew Church challenging the rest of us to live the Gospel lifestyle with concern for others, especially the poor.
The readings for this weekend offer us one of Jesus' strongest warnings, that we ignore the poor at our peril.
The rich man lived lavishly. He ignored the poor man Lazarus who sat by his gate. Both men die, and the rich man ends up in a place of suffering and anguish. Lazarus, who suffered in life, is at peace after death.
Many times the poor are not so obvious to us. They may not be in our neighborhoods where we can see them. But we're exposed to them when devastation in Haiti or Louisiana or Appalachia is brought to "our gates" by television or computer screens or our daily papers. These and those who do cross our paths are the "Lazaruses" we are challenged to comfort, feed, clothe and house.
The rich man panics when he sees Lazarus in the afterlife being comforted by Abraham, and he asks to be able to come back to warn his brothers, so they won't face the same fate he is suffering.
Jesus, foreshadowing his own death and resurrection, ends the parable quoting Abraham as saying, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead."
How can you assist others who lack the resources they need to live a good life? What sacrifices of your own time and means can you make to assist others?
SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:
"My child, remember that you received?what was good during your lifetime?while Lazarus likewise received what was bad" (Luke 16:25).
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