Autor: Fr. Richard Gill, LC | Fuente: Sacerdos Institute 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
September 30, 2007. Homily. Readings: Amos 6:1a, 47; 1 Timothy 6:1116; Luke 16:1931.
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C Readings: Amos 6: 1a,
47; 1 Timothy 6: 1116; Luke 16: 1931 Author: Fr. Richard
THEME OF THE READINGS Amos condemns the wanton revelry and
godlessness of the Israelites of his time, and Paul exhorts
Timothy to lead a life of piety and integrity. In
this there is a theme of acting uprightly before God
and living authentically what we should live, no matter what
the circumstances. When we encounter a person with that
sort of integrity the man who does the right
thing day in and day out, whether or not he
is being monitored we always get the impression that
there is something more than just a good man at
work. We know we are in the presence of a
man who lives his life in God´s sight.
invites us to live with concern and true charity for
those around us who are our brothers in Christ, and
to not be blind or deaf to the way of
life God asks us to live. So many people go
through life only trying to be "good" and not deliberately
hurt anyone, but essentially living self-centered lives. Such a person
grows gradually more and more oblivious to the presence of
God and others around him.
DOCTRINAL MESSAGE The rich man in Luke
16 was not condemned merely because he was rich. Nowhere
does Jesus condemn someone for his wealth. Rather, it was
his selfish use of his goods and his lack of
care for the poor that led to his condemnation. Riches
carry with them a responsibility to use them for the
service of others and this is a grave obligation. Material
things are a gift from God, and one must use
them to serve God and others.
What becomes clear
in the story Jesus tells is not only that misuse
of worldly goods can lead to condemnation for all eternity,
but also that it is easy for such a person
to become blinded to the truth about himself. The rich
man pleads from hell that Lazarus be sent back to
warn his brothers not to fall into the same sin
he did so they may not be condemned. Obviously, this
is not to be taken literally, because no one in
hell has any love or compassion for those whom they
have left behind. The point is, as Abraham tells him,
"let them listen to Moses and the prophets," his brothers
already have access to the truth God wants them to
live; it has already been revealed and they already know
it in their hearts. The rich man protests that, no,
if only someone would return from the dead, they would
repent, but Abraham says that if they do not listen
to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced
even if someone should rise from the dead.
This last word
from Abraham refers to Jesus. Even with the miracle of
the Resurrection, many still do not believe. What is needed
is a heart ready to listen, to act, to change,
to repent. What chokes off the voice of Moses and
the prophets all too often is the attachment to material
things, to pleasure, and the self-centeredness that leads one to
spend all his time on himself, rather than look to
serve the rest. For such people the Resurrection, or any
miracle for that matter, will do little good.
God could force
our obedience with impressive displays of power. Instead, he invites
us to freely cooperate with him, to willingly, voluntarily, and
lovingly accept his invitation. He respects our freedom and our
choices, even when they lead us into tragedy. He does
not force us to love him.
We must keep a
close watch on our use of the world´s goods so
that we never become enslaved or blinded by them to
the point we forget their true purpose: to be put
at the service of the needs of our brothers and
sisters. Material goods, if not kept in check, become those
"false gods" that blind us to the true God of
PASTORAL APPLICATONS A good way to make sure material
things are not crowding God out of our life is
to commit ourselves to sacrificial giving or tithing. The first
10% or more of what we make should be considered
God´s money. We give the first fruits back to God
and live on what remains. Give to the poor, to
the Church, to charities that are really effective in doing
good, rather than just give it to anyone who asks.
is the stance we should take toward material wealth: it
is really only on loan from God. It is passing
away and should never be the source of our security.
Our hope is in the Lord. We use what we
need and keep a healthy austerity in our lives.
The New Testament invites us not only to give a
tithe to give only 10% can be easy if
we are very wealthy but to give of our
substance, not of our abundance. This will remind us
never to be attached to material things. It gives
freedom to our spirit and helps us live without the
worries and preoccupations of others who constantly pursue material wealth.
Living like this keeps our souls and hearts open to
listen to what God wants of us, unlike the rich
man and his brothers, who did not listen to Moses
and the prophets.
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