Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 29, 2019 – Year C
Readings: Am 6:1A, 4-7 / Ps 146 / 1 Tm 6:11-16 / Lk 16:19-31
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A story is told about David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank traveling through South America. A group of bank officials of the government of Uruguay invited him for lunch, hoping for a sizable loan. The affair was held at a club that was famous locally for its magnificent appetizer buffet. Rockefeller passed through the buffet line first, and thinking that this was the entire meal, served himself generously. When seated, he noticed that others had taken skimpier portions. He said to the President of Banco Central, “I have so much and you have so little.” The host responded, “I am glad you mentioned that, Mr. Rockefeller, because that is exactly what we want to talk to you about.”
We may not be billionaires like the Rockefellers, but each and every one of us has received blessings from God in one form or another. Today’s gospel parable challenges us to share our blessings in whatever form they may be with the less fortunate ones in our community. There is no indication that the rich man in the gospel that we have just heard is the cause of Lazarus’s poverty, and he did not kick him out of his door. He was punished in the place of torment, not because of what he had done, but because of what he had failed to do. His sin was his indifference, his complacency. This is what the Lord God said in the book of Amos in the first reading, “Woe to the complacent in Zion.”
It has been said that the opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. At the Confiteor at the beginning of Mass, we confess to almighty God that we have greatly sinned, not only in our thoughts, our words, and what we have done but in the good we have failed to do. It is this fourth sin that is often overlooked. As God’s children, before we sleep at night, we cannot say that everything is fine with our relationship with our God if we have done, said, or thought evil things towards others, but we also must ask ourselves if we at least tried to help those in need, in whatever little way we can. Not all of us are blessed enough to share treasures, but we surely can share our time with those in need. Even just offering an encouraging word can sometimes go a long way.
As we continue to celebrate this holy sacrifice of the Mass, which is the highest form of prayer, let us ask the Lord to give us the grace to follow His commands, so that at the end of our earthly existence, He may be able to say to us, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”