Saturday, September 29, 2007
26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - C
AMOS 6:1A, 4-7
Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their
own accompaniment. They drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves
with the best oils; yet they are not made ill by the collapse of
Joseph! Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and
their wanton revelry shall be done away with.
1 TIMOTHY 6:11-16
But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love,
patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of
eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble
confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you before
God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave
testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, to keep the
commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our
Lord Jesus Christ that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest
at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone
has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no
human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power.
Jesus said to the Pharisees: "There was a rich man who dressed in
purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And
lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the
rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the
poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of
Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the
netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw
Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, `Father
Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger
in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these
flames.' Abraham replied, `My child, remember that you received what
was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what
was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent
anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or
from your side to ours.' He said, `Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn
them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham
replied, `They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.'
He said, `Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to
them, they will repent.' Then Abraham said, `If they will not listen
to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone
should rise from the dead.'"
In the readings today, we see sharp differences between the rich and
poor, the separation between this world and the next world.
Oftentimes, we think that being rich in this world is a wonderful
thing. In the readings today, we see that it might not be so
wonderful when it comes to the Day of Judgment. It is not so much a
question of whether or not we were wealthy, but rather it is a
question of what it does to us.
Oftentimes, wealth corrupts a person. We read it from the readings
today, that it is not the wealth itself that was the problem. In the
first reading, the prophet Amos says, "Woe to the complacent in
Israel." Then he talks about what they do: how they lie on their beds
of ivory, they eat sumptuously, and they do all these things, but
they are not upset over the destruction that has taken place in
Israel. So it was not their wealth that was the problem. It was the
corruption that followed from the wealth.
We see, basically, the same thing in the Gospel reading. We hear
about Dives, the rich man, and we hear about Lazarus. Dives ate
wonderfully from his table every day and did not lift a finger to
help Lazarus. Because of wealth, as oftentimes happens, people in
that situation can order other people around. Consequently, even from
hell, Dives is trying to tell Abraham to send Lazarus to wait on him.
It is not so much a matter of whether a person has some money, but it
is what oftentimes comes with it. We sometimes look at the very
wealthy people, and we are filled with envy and jealousy. We
oftentimes think: "If God loved me, He would give me all of that."
But that is not true. God does not want to give us things that are
going to destroy us. He wants only what is the very best for us. For
us, then, we need to learn that. It is precisely what Saint Paul
talked about in the second reading. Talking to Timothy, he said, "Man
of God that you are." That is what each one of us is: We are a man or
a woman of God. Therefore, it is what needs to be the priority for
us. That is what he tells Timothy: "Set your heart on faith and
Dives is saying to Abraham, "Send Lazarus because if somebody comes
back from the dead, they will recognize it and they will be able to
turn their life over." But, of course, we know better than that. We
already have Jesus who has come back from the dead and how much has
that done for the vast majority of people? They have rejected the One
who has come back from the dead. Of course, Jesus will come back. But
by that time it will be too late. On the Day that Jesus returns, it
would be possible for people to repent.
Let's imagine what may happen on the day Jesus returns. If people who
have led sinful lives see Jesus coming back in glory, they are going
to run away from him. They are going to hide their faces. They will
be filled with fear because all their lives they have been caught up
in themselves, instead of in Jesus. But if people have led holy
lives, not necessarily sinless lives, they will be running to Jesus,
begging for mercy for themselves, as well as for others.
What is our priority? We need to look and ask ourselves what is
important. In the second reading, St. Paul says to Timothy: "Keep the
commandment." What is the commandment? It is to love God and love
neighbor. It is to get the focus off ourselves and put it on God and
on others, where it belongs. If God has decided to give us wealth, it
was not because we are so wonderful and we deserved to have wealth,
where other people do not. But rather, it is so that we could use
what God has given us for the good of others. If God has chosen that
we do not have wealth, it is because he knew that if we had it, we
would not go to Heaven; we would use it for ourselves instead of
others. We need to look at so many of the people who have it and
recognize what their wealth has done. Rather than using it for the
good of others, they use it for themselves. They make sure that all
their wants and desires are met. Big fancy homes, fancy cars, all the
finest food. They give very little to the poor, but they give
thousands to themselves. That is the corruption of wealth.
For many of us, God is not the number one in our lives. We are number
one in our own lives. That is what needs to be changed. If we are
going to keep the commandment, as Saint Paul said to Timothy, it
means "love". Love God and love our neighbor. Do not look out just
for ourselves. Think humbly of others as being more important than
ourselves. That is what we need to see. We cannot remain complacent.
My dear friends, do not just say, "Oh, yes. God is important to me,"
and then go home, only to make sure that we have enough wealth and
luxury. Earnestly and seriously, ask ourselves: "What is really most
important to me?" Then, mold our life around it. If it is God, then
love Him first and foremost. Follow the Commandments and set our
heart on Jesus Christ, who will come back to take us to Himself, but
only if we are seeking Him first. The choice is ours. We can seek
this world, or we can seek the next. Jesus tells us: "Store up
treasure in Heaven." That must be our priority. Look at Jesus Christ
and seek God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind,
and our whole strength. Then, seek to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Then, and only then, will we have treasure in Heaven.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Damaso Guevara
- Marietta Climaco
- Epifania Ylaya and Rexon Ylaya
- Catalina de Leon
... for the personal intentions of:
- Guevara family
- San Juan de Dios Hospital
- Jasmin, Pe Family
- Danilo Santos
... Good health: Elsa & Paolo
... In Thanksgiving:
- Edwin R. Tadiosa
- Fr. Dario Miguel Saniel, S.J.
... for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Fidel & Corazon Santos
- Cristina, Rosvie & Aljohn
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Ma. Cristina F. Bate
- Birthday: Melody Lim
- Birthday: Msgr. Hernando M. Coronel
- Wedding Anniversary: Lourdes & Jose Limchutick
- Wedding Anniversary: Virginia & Angelo L. Yu
- In Memoriam (+): Teresita Dee
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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