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Love others as Jesus did
Based on the readings: Am 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31
In the first reading, Amos the Prophet warns the Israelites about pending severe consequences for their strictly external religious practices and corruption while exploiting and oppressing the poor.
In 1 Timothy, Paul exhorts Timothy to stay faithful to his role as shepherd to the Ephesus community. At the time, false teachers were causing division in the community, promoting loose moral living and challenging the church in Ephesus.
Timothy is called to emphasize the need for people to live their faith consistently and to be Christ for others.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the beautiful and challenging parable about Lazarus and the rich man. In this parable, Jesus isn’t blaming the man for being rich. He is blamed for not sharing and caring. It isn’t that the rich man did anything wrong to Lazarus. He simply didn’t do the good he could have done – a sin of omission.
Jesus tells us to help the poor and needy. We don’t respond to Jesus’ teaching just by helping them. We need also to check our attitudes toward them. Do we think of ourselves as different or separate from them? Jesus wants us to see others as he sees them. He doesn’t look at us in separate groups – rich or poor, color of our skin, educated or uneducated, country we live in, team or club membership we hold and so on. He sees all people as created by God and all called to be his children – to love God and others.
Every day, somewhere and in some way, we meet someone who needs our time, attention, care and kindness. We need to be ready to help and share.
All we say and do on earth will decide whether or not we share eternal happiness in heaven like Lazarus, or we pay for our selfishness and lack of love and mercy like the rich man.
Now, who is really the rich man and the poor man in this Sunday’s Gospel? Marianne Couture, Catholic Herald Family Staff