September 25, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
26th Sunday In Ordinary Time -
A Reflection by Fr. Leo
In our first reading, Amos describes a great way of life. Comfortable beds and couches, lamb on demand, music, adult beverages, and the best of oils to provide comfort to the body. Sounds better than a five star hotel. The only issue is that while some are comfortable others are ill and collapsing. It may all be well and good to have creature comforts, but are we not also responsible for people in need. St. Francis and many other saints give us an answer we may not want to hear.
Psalm 146 praises those who minister to the oppressed, the hungry, the captives, the blind, strangers and widows. In praying the psalm we express the proper disposition of the faithful person to those in need.
The gospel echoes what Amos said and gives us a vivid story as an example. A rich man feasts sumptuously each day while Lazarus starves at his door. So sad that it is the dogs to comfort his wounds by licking them. Sadder still is that Lazarus was not a stranger. He was someone the rich man had to step over day after day.
When justice comes, the rich man wants those like him to know of their error, but there is no need for that for the message they need of justice and mercy has already been revealed in the resurrection of the Christ. The person who professes to follow Christ should already know what is the right way to live. They should already know the voice deep within that speaks of love and motivates acts of mercy.
We are all called to the greatness of Christ, something we see molded in the lives of the saints. However, it is tempting to settle for less, to be concerned only about ourselves; to seek our own comfort and security at the expense of others. As we grow in Christ and put on “the mind of Christ,” we begin to discover the riches and inner peace that can only come from being a person for others as well as for one’s self.
To seek the kind of poverty that makes us humble lovers is where Christ invites us to be. Who then, we ask, are the needy in our lives. It may be the poor. It may be the “rich”. The question for us is, how can we live God’s love in a way that will become blessing to the poor and humble, as well as invite the selfish to love. Maybe we begin by seeing a bit of both in ourselves.