Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
September 30, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
1 Timothy 6:11-16
A reflection on today's Scripture:
There are two characters who dominate the Gospel this week—a very selfish rich man named Dives, and a very humble poor man named Lazarus.
The scene opens on the street in front of Dives' front door. There lies the beggar, Lazarus, in tattered clothes that scarcely cover his open sores. The door opens, and the well-fed guests of Dives emerge, laughing loudly as they depart from their daily banquet. Then Dives comes out. Having bid good-bye to the last guest, he decides to take an evening walk. Like his guests, Dives steps over the beggar, not even looking at him. He doesn't kick or abuse him. He just doesn't pay any attention.
The next scene is some years later. In the upper right, we see Lazarus in heavenly glory, courted by the angels, reclining at table with the patriarch, Father Abraham. In the lower left, we see Dives, in the torments of hell, looking longingly at the heavenly feast in the distance.
Why is Dives in hell? Not because he is rich, for Jesus, in telling the story, never condemns him for that. Why, then? Because he never thought to share his riches with this poor beggar who lay outside his door day after day. He never offered him some of the leftovers, never inquired about his health, never offered him employment.
What a difference Dives could have made in the life of Lazarus. He might have gotten to know him better, and given help to Lazarus' wife and children. Who knows? They might even have become friends!
In the first reading, the prophet Amos paints a similar picture of the wealthy rulers of Israel, lying on their beds of ivory, and drinking wine from bowls, completely oblivious to the near-collapse of the kingdom. Again, God is condemning this indifference, their selfishness, their lack of discipline, and their disloyalty to His commandments.
God's warnings in Scripture apply to every age. Whom are we stepping over? God isn't condemning us for working diligently and acquiring some wealth. He just wants us to share what we have with our brothers and sisters in need. He wants us to be his loving and caring followers.
There is a day of judgment.
— Msgr. Paul Whitmore --
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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