THIS WEEK’S HOMILY: DO SOMETHING

26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C

By: Rev. Fr. Sylvanus Ameh

Readings: Amos 6:1, 4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

Theme: Do Something

In last week’s First Reading, through the prophet Amos, God condemned the unjust acquisition of wealth. This week, God declares woe unto those who are rich (any manner of wealth) but who take no notice of those who are poor (any form of poverty). And this message of prophet Amos is re-echoed in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus in today’s gospel reading. While the parable is presumably a familiar one, we should take note of the following from it:

  • the rich man ate plenty everyday while Lazarus starved
  • all Lazarus wanted was just crumbs of food to stay alive, but even that, he did not get
  • the rich man died and was buried, maybe even a lavish burial, but for Lazarus, we do not know what happened to his body; we only know angels took him (his soul) to heaven
  • the rich man went to hell; Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom (heaven)
  • and even in hell, the rich man still wanted to boss Lazarus by asking Abraham to send him

We ought to take note also of these very important points about the first reading and the gospel reading, for they are both drawing our attention to the same thing.

  • the rich man did not kick Lazarus from his property
  • he did not insult Lazarus
  • he did not shout at Lazarus
  • he did not DO anything TO Lazarus
  • he also did not DO anything FOR Lazarus
  • he simply enjoyed his wealth without noticing Lazarus.
  • His sin was that HE DID NOTHING when he could have DONE MUCH
  • The rich that were condemned by prophet Amos also sinned by simply enjoying their wealth and DOING NOTHING to help the poor. In fact, they did not even notice the poor.

This is one of the big points of today’s Liturgy of the Word: that we sin, not only by what we do (sin of commission) but also by the things we should have done that we did not do (sin of omission). In the Confiteor, we pray: “I confess to Almighty God…that I have greatly sinned…in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.” Why do we have to confess as sin, what we did not do? The bible gives us the answer in James 4:17. There scripture says, “To him who knows what to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” And on this point, many of us, if not all, are guilty. We must note that the issue God is addressing to us today is not just about material wealth and material poverty; this extends to all forms of wealth and all forms of poverty. Before any one of us begin to think these words are for some people only, know that God is addressing all of us because:

  • some of us are rich in our spiritual lives, and we disdain those who are struggling to walk aright with God
  • some of us are intellectually rich, and we scorn those who not as intelligent as we are
  • some of us are socially rich, and we mock at those who are at the lower rungs of the social ladder
  • some of us are rich in health, and we despise those whose health are not as good as ours
  • some of us are emotionally rich, and we do not seem to understand those who are depressed because of emotional poverty.
  • some of us are materially rich, and we look down on those who suffer material poverty.

Anyone who is deficient in that area of life that God has richly blessed you is the Lazarus God has put at your gate. So,

  • Is there a Lazarus at your house gate?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your school?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your office?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your neighbourhood?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your church?
  • Are you noticing that Lazarus?
  • What are you doing to help the Lazarus in your life to be better?

Jesus says whatsoever we do to the least of the brethren we are doing it to him (Mat 25:40). We gather today as Christians and profess our love for God, but the word of God tells us that the love of God is not, will not and cannot be in us if we see a brother or sister in need and close our hearts to them (cf. 1 Jn 3:17). Today therefore, God is charging us to do something for that Lazarus at our gate.

  • Do something for that Lazarus who is suffering spiritual poverty
  • Do something for that Lazarus whose academic life is not as good as yours
  • Do something for that Lazarus who is emotionally depressed and is now living in isolation
  • Do something for that Lazarus whose dignity has been reduced by material poverty
  • Simply do something for any Lazarus that is at your gate, for God is watching and God rewards.

Let us always keep in mind that “Charity covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8) and every Lazarus we meet is a bearer of God’s image and likeness. We pray that God may grant us the courage and spirit of kindness to do something for the Lazarus in our life today. Amen

26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C

Readings: Amos 6:1, 4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

Theme: Do Something

In last week’s First Reading, through the prophet Amos, God condemned the unjust acquisition of wealth. This week, God declares woe unto those who are rich (any manner of wealth) but who take no notice of those who are poor (any form of poverty). And this message of prophet Amos is re-echoed in Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus in today’s gospel reading. While the parable is presumably a familiar one, we should take note of the following from it:

  • the rich man ate plenty everyday while Lazarus starved
  • all Lazarus wanted was just crumbs of food to stay alive, but even that, he did not get
  • the rich man died and was buried, maybe even a lavish burial, but for Lazarus, we do not know what happened to his body; we only know angels took him (his soul) to heaven
  • the rich man went to hell; Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom (heaven)
  • and even in hell, the rich man still wanted to boss Lazarus by asking Abraham to send him

We ought to take note also of these very important points about the first reading and the gospel reading, for they are both drawing our attention to the same thing.

  • the rich man did not kick Lazarus from his property
  • he did not insult Lazarus
  • he did not shout at Lazarus
  • he did not DO anything TO Lazarus
  • he also did not DO anything FOR Lazarus
  • he simply enjoyed his wealth without noticing Lazarus.
  • His sin was that HE DID NOTHING when he could have DONE MUCH
  • The rich that were condemned by prophet Amos also sinned by simply enjoying their wealth and DOING NOTHING to help the poor. In fact, they did not even notice the poor.

This is one of the big points of today’s Liturgy of the Word: that we sin, not only by what we do (sin of commission) but also by the things we should have done that we did not do (sin of omission). In the Confiteor, we pray: “I confess to Almighty God…that I have greatly sinned…in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.” On this point, many of us, if not all, are guilty. We must note that the issue God is addressing to us today is not just about material wealth and material poverty; this extends to all forms of wealth and all forms of poverty. Before any one of us begin to think these words are for some people only, know that God is addressing all of us because:

  • some of us are rich in our spiritual lives, and we disdain those who are struggling to walk aright with God
  • some of us are intellectually rich, and we scorn those who not as intelligent as we are
  • some of us are socially rich, and we mock at those who are at the lower rungs of the social ladder
  • some of us are rich in health, and we despise those whose health are not as good as ours
  • some of us are emotionally rich, and we do not seem to understand those who are depressed because of emotional poverty.
  • some of us are materially rich, and we look down on those who suffer material poverty.

Anyone who is deficient in that area of life that God has richly blessed you is the Lazarus God has put at your gate. So,

  • Is there a Lazarus at your house gate?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your school?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your office?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your neighbourhood?
  • Is there a Lazarus in your church?
  • Are you noticing that Lazarus?
  • What are you doing to help the Lazarus in your life to be better?

Jesus says whatsoever we do to the least of the brethren we are doing it to him (Mat 25:40). We gather today as Christians and profess our love for God, but the word of God tells us that the love of God is not, will not and cannot be in us if we see a brother or sister in need and close our hearts to them (cf. 1 Jn 3:17). Today therefore, God is charging us to do something for that Lazarus at our gate.

  • Do something for that Lazarus who is suffering spiritual poverty
  • Do something for that Lazarus whose academic life is not as good as yours
  • Do something for that Lazarus who is emotionally depressed and is now living in isolation
  • Do something for that Lazarus whose dignity has been reduced by material poverty
  • Simply do something for any Lazarus that is at your gate, for God is watching and God rewards.

Let us always keep in mind that “Charity covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8) and every Lazarus we meet is a bearer of God’s image and likeness. We pray that God may grant us the courage and spirit of kindness to do something for the Lazarus in our life today. Amen

6 replies
  1. Okoli Ngozi
    Okoli Ngozi says:

    Wonderful, i will do something by the grace of God and you too Fada should do something. May God help us to be the doer of His words not only the hearer In Jesus Name.

    Reply
  2. Aidoko Emmanuella
    Aidoko Emmanuella says:

    Nice one Padre. But I have one issue. There are people (Lazarus(es))who reject help even when presented in the beat of ways. Will we be held accountable for steering clear of them?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *