Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2016
As the Holy Mother Church enters the Twenty Sixth Sun-day in Ordinary Time, Jesus in the Gospel of Luke was quick to call our attention to our actions and deeds. He reminds us, as he addressed the Pharisees that our ac-tions and deeds in this world, whether we are youths, millennials, adults, parents, seniors, name them have moral consequences, even when the secular world tend to dismiss God and his words in our society. If you were not familiar with the story of the “Richman and Lazarus in the Gospel of Luke 16: 19 - 31”, let me just recap a bit of it for you.
“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 Abra-ham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering tor-ment in these flames.' Abraham replied, ‘My child, re-member 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 torment-ed.”
The moral lesson from this story can be approached from two perspectives: First, Lazarus teaches us humility in handling our sad condition in our lives. Sometimes, the difficulties we face in life may be so hard and humiliating, but these are temporal and not permanent. The best ap-proach is to do our best in this condition while trusting in God. While on the other hand, the Richman displayed lack of love with the gift that God has given him. He did not show mercy to Lazarus. For him everything ends in this world. His arrogance made him think that his wealth was as a result of his hard work. But, Jesus wants us to
know that whatever we are or have is ultimately from God. And we are to use it for the good of our neighbor and to the glory of God. We are to remember always that our deeds have consequences.
Father Uche Obikwelu