Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
from whom light rises in
grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties,
the grace to ask what you would have us do,
that is your light we may see light,
and in your narrow path may not stumble;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of
the Holy Spirit,
- Amos 6:1a, 4-7
- Psalm 146
- 1 Tim 6:6-19
- Luke 16:19-31
- Lamentations 1:1-6
- Psalm 137
- 2 Tim 1:1-14
- Luke 17:5-10
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
“Lying at the rich man’s 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.”
The rich man (sometimes known as “Dives”) is not really a bad man, but a self-centred, complacent one. The rich man’s sin is his remaining oblivious to the plight of Lazarus (a name which means “God’s help”) at his gate and his blind acceptance of the poverty of so many and wealth in the hands of so few like himself as the natural, inevitable order of things. It was not his wealth that kept him from “Abraham’s bosom,” but his untrustworthy stewardship of what he had.
Christ calls us to open our eyes to the poor and needy at our own gates and open our hearts to welcome them with compassion and honour.
The rich man of the Gospel and the “worthless rich” of the prophet Amos (today’s first reading) do not understand that the many blessings we have received from God are given for us to share – to share not out of a sense of obligation but as a joyful opportunity to give thanks to God for his many blessings to us.
In our busy-ness, in our need for “me time,” in our pursuit of our own wants and expectations, we become quite adept at shutting the world out, not seeing or hearing the Lazarus’ in our lives — and sometimes we are the isolated Lazarus in need of love and support and understanding.
Amassing large estates and building up profitable stock portfolios are not the stuff that true legacies are made of. We will be remembered not for what we possess but for what we give; our lasting legacy will be what we contribute to make our world a happier, healthier place.
You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet herePew-Sheet-Pentecost-16C