September 25, 2010


26th Sunday - C
Luke 16: 19-31

Condition of Faith in The One Who Rises from the Dead

It is quite clear from the parable that the rich man does not treat Lazarus cruelly. He could have ordered his servants to chase Lazarus away. He could have requested the authority to remove Lazarus. Worse, he could have sent his dogs to attack Lazarus. He does none of these.

On the contrary, he knows Lazarus' name, as evident in the request he makes to Abraham. [1]

His fault is his inactivity. He does nothing to help Lazarus. Jesus tells us "of the closed mind, heart and even eyes of the satiated man who does not even see the shocking poverty of Lazarus outside his very door." [2] He seems to be consumed with his "purple garments and fine linen" (the outfits of the royal and weathy [3] ) and his daily sumptous dinners.

And this lifestyle prevents him from listening to Moses and the prophets who repeatedly call Israel to care for the poor of the land (Ref. Exodus 22:21-22 [4], Amos 6: 1, 4-7 - today's first reading).

Jesus is clear in his explanation that if one fails to listen to Moses and the prophets and neglects the poor, one will not be able to have faith in the Risen One.

One cannot believe in the Risen Christ if one fails to see Him in the poor. It is the same Risen Christ who is present in the words of Scriptures, the Eucharist, and in the people around us, especially those who are poor and marginalized.

[1] Magnificat, September 2010; p. 354.
[2] Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of the Lord: Reflections on the Gospel Readings - Year C. Homebush, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1991; p. 166.
[3] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke. Sacra Pagina Series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 251.
[4] Ibid., p. 253.

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