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THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS IN OUR DAILY LIVES. A reflection for the 26th Sunday of the Ordinary Time, Year C.
By Fr. Francis Onwunali
Sat, 28 Sep 2019

Amos 6:1, 4-7
Psalm 145 (146): 7-10
I Timothy 6:11-16
Luke 16: 19-31

In the Penitential Rite, we pray and ask for forgiveness for the sins we have committed in our thoughts, in our words, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do. On this twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, the message centers on the consequences of the things we have failed to do. 

In the gospel (Luke 16: 19-31), Jesus tells the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to highlight the insensitivity of the rich man to poor Lazarus who had sores all over his body lying at his gate. The rich man was denied of heavenly bliss not because he was rich, but for the simple fact that he failed to be compassionate with the gifts given to him by God. 

In the first reading (Amos 6: 1, 4-7), Amos, a shepherd and caretaker of sycamore tree from the Southern Kingdom called to prophesy to the people of the Northern Kingdom, condemns the complacency of the rich seeking only for their comfort and neglecting the poor in their midst. Hence, Amos prophesied that soon "they will be the first to be exiled; and the sprawlers' revelry will be over”. 

Dear friends, the Psalmist holds that the Lord hears the cry of the poor (Ps. 34). The name Lazarus, the Greek version of the Hebrew "Eleazar" *(El* - God; *azar* - to help) meaning "God is my help", brings out the core message of today.  As children of God, disciples of Jesus, who by the unction of the Holy Spirit are called to new life, we should be compassionate and sensitive to other's plights as God has been in ours. To what extent do I care and support those around me who are in need? Am I willing to share the little I have or do I think that only the rich should give?

 I pray as we journey in life today, we will harken to St. Paul's advice to Timothy (1 Tm. 6: 11-16), to strive and seek after virtuous life always until the "Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ". May we never neglect the Lazarus at our gates so that the plight, torment and agony of the rich man- missing blessed, will not be our fate. May, in giving, we be given full measure of God's abundant blessings. Have a Happy and caring-full Sunday!

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