Bulletin: September 25, 2022
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our liturgy today picks up right where we left off last Sunday. It is still about making positive choices for the greater good, and that there is no room for the lukewarm. The prophet Amos continues preaching his gloom and doom, as he calls out the complacent. Paul urges Timothy to a life completely opposite that of Amos’ complacent ones, as an athlete competing for the faith to “Keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Luke’s parable of Lazarus and the rich man, we see someone who is unwilling to do the right thing until he tries to save himself. By then it is too late for him.
NOTHING WRONG WITH THE GOOD LIFE
You know, there is nothing wrong with studying and working hard, and building up stability and wealth for your family. It is a good and positive thing to have money for retirement, vacations, or even to have a little nest egg in case of an emergency. But with those blessings comes more responsibility. This is where the rich man in today’s Gospel parable fails miserably. Wearing finery and having gourmet meals is not a sin, but he does nothing to reach out his hand to aid Lazarus or those in need around him.
From what we know, the Gospel doesn’t say the rich man was rude to Lazarus, or that he scoffed at the poor man. His sin was one of omission. He simply put his blinders on and failed to see. He didn’t send a meal out to him or have someone from his household check on the man. He just left him there to suffer.
LIVE RESPONSIBLY AND SHARE WHAT YOU HAVE
In heaven, Lazarus is raised and freed from his sufferings, while the rich man suffers greatly in the flames of hell. He implores God to send a messenger to his family, but God tells him that since they ignored the messages of Moses and the Prophets, nothing is going to change them, not even someone coming from the dead. Sadly, sometimes we fear and avoid street people because we suspect them of drug abuse, mental illness or, nowadays, carrying the Covid virus. Don’t use that as an excuse to write them off. Write a check to your parish or favorite charity. Make a donation to the food pantry or, better yet, sign up for a shift to work in the food pantry as a family and make it a teachable moment. Pay it forward. Invite someone who is with you to join in your family meal. When you go in to grab a coffee pick up an extra and give it to the first person you see who needs it. Learn the lesson of the parable, and open your eyes and your heart to the needs of others around you.