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Sunday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

September 28, 2019

Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Psalm 146

First Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy 6:11-16

Luke 16:19-31

There is a story about a God-fearing man who, after leaving Holy Mass, found a wallet full of money in the church parking lot.  He immediately brought the wallet to his parish priest and asked for his advice of what he should do.  The priest said to go out and find the owner and return the wallet.  The man went outside and began to shout, “Who owns this wallet full of money?”  He did this for several minutes but no one answered.  Well, actually he didn’t really shout.  He whispered and only he could hear himself.  He kept the wallet and the cash.

My sisters and brothers, today’s Gospel tells us about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man, because of his wealth and status, had no difficulty in having status in his community.  He lived in the lap of luxury.  He feasted every day.  He wore fine clothing.  Conversely, Lazarus was a beggar who longed to eat the leftovers that fell from the rich man’s table.  Friends, think about that last sentence.  Place yourself in Lazarus’ place. 

When both of them died, Lazarus went to heaven and the rich man was consigned to the fires of hell.  What then was the sin of the rich man?   He did not order his servants to  remove Lazarus from the gate of his home.  He did not make any objections to  his receiving the leftover that fell from his table.  He did not kick him nor was he cruel to him.  The sin of the rich man was that he never even noticed Lazarus who represented the poor, the sick and the outcasts of that time period.  He did no overt wrong.  He simply did nothing.  In our Catholic teaching this would amount to a “sin of omission.”  The rich man omitted and failed to come to the assistance of a “neighbor.” 

Today, in our time, we have many Lazarus’ in the world.  People from every country who are in need of help.  In 2017 the United Nations published a report that $77 billion in food has been distributed to people in need around the world and still 15,000 people die of malnutrition and homelessness every day.  Again, place yourself in the position of being  hungry and homeless.

Friends, when we ignore the poor, the sick and the homeless the sin of the rich man could very well be our sin as well.  Sometimes we become blind when our personal  comfort and interests make us insensitive to the plight of so many of our brothers and sisters in need.  Not only for the basic necessities of life but for their spiritual hunger as well.

Question of the Day:  Will you help those who are in need to the best of your ability? 

Prayer:  “Make us worth, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger.  Give them through our hands, this day,  their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.  Amen.”  (Saint Mother Theresa)

Prosit!

 

 

 

 

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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