Homily September 29, 2013 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on September 25, 2013

luke_16_rich_man_and_lazarus1Today Luke comes to the end of his section dealing with wealth, the difference between the rich and the poor. In this story, we see the rich man in splendor and Lazarus as a wretched beggar with sores and starving at the rich man’s door. After they both die, there is a role reversal with the rich man in torment and Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. What is interesting here is the fact that no actual reason is given for the man being in torment other than he was rich and led a rather comfortable life. However if we look closely we can see that the seeds of the problem are visible. The rich man calls out to Abraham to send Lazarus with water for relief, and later to send him back to life to warn his brothers. What happens here is that even in the next life the rich man never acknowledges Lazarus as a man but as some kind of messenger or servant to be used for his own purposes. What is different from when he lay at his doorstep in life? He is just there, something like furniture to be used when needed. His wealth, his comfort were all that were important to him. The past prophets like Amos had warned of the tantalizing effect of wealth and comfort. If our faith and belief doesn’t prepare us, what will. Jesus has always preached that it wasn’t appearances or how we looked but who we were as persons. Even Abraham in the middle of the desert sat at the entrance of his tent and beckoned all who passed by with his hospitality and invited them to rest. He never asked who they were or where they were from. Such welcome must have been refreshing in an environment so difficult for traveling.

In the early times after Christ and today, Christians celebrate the Eucharist with everyone being invited to share at one All-are-welcome-graphic-Copytable. Today we welcome all to Christ’s table with no turning back of anyone who accepts Christ’s forgiveness and believes in the receiving of His body and blood. Each person who enters is unique and another link in a life to our own journey to the next life. What we have and give and share will always make us a better person. With the times seemingly dividing the so-called haves and have-nots today, it is incumbent that we not be overly consumed by what we have and accumulate. As the world seems to shrink today, we must take to heart the lesson of the rich man. Jesus didn’t really leave anything out. The man didn’t “do” anything wrong but actually his fault was in what he did not do.

This I think is our lesson today. Look about, see the world, the beauty, and all there is, especially those we pass and encounter. Salvation comes to very few for one big magnanimous act, such as a martyr. Salvation is faith played out day-to-day, task to task person to person. It can really be a joyful thing if we are joyful.