Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 29th September 2019
Gospel : Luke 16:19-31
Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames”. “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”
‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too”. “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.”. “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead”.’
The Gospel of the Lord
Donal Neary S.J.
Gospel reflections for Year C: Luke
Faith in action: On fire with hope
This story of Jesus highlights the inequality of rich and poor. Jesus appeals to our sense of justice,, right and goodness. There is no need for anyone to come back from the dead to warn us of this inequality. The doors between rich and poor can often be locked as were the doors between Dives and Lazarus. Those outside can only knock, protest and even break down doors. The doors must be opened from the inside.
This message of justice and hope for an equal share of the world’s goods for everyone is strong in the gospel of Jesus. His heart was on fire with the hope of a better life for the poor. He went to help them simply because they were poor.
The Christian Church, if it is to be faithful to the gospel, should be involved in many ways in the creation of a more just world. The Christian parish takes a special care for the refugee, the new poor, the unborn, the elderly, and in fact all whose voices may not be usually heard.
The parable is meant not to scare with images of punishment, but to make us as aware of the huge inequalities that exist in our world, and in the exploitation of resources in the developing world.
Maybe we can pray not to be tormented by any of the pains of this story, but be tormented into action by the hunger, poverty and injustices of our world. Maybe then more doors can be opened from the inside of wealth to the outside of poverty.
Lord, may we build with you a world of justice and peace.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.