26th Sunday C

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26th Sunday C

The parable in today’s gospel is about a rich man and Lazarus. When these two died, the rich man went to hell; Lazarus to heaven.

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The rich man does nothing intrinsically evil. He lives like a rich man that he is, wears fine clothes, and throws a sumptuous feast each day. He neither causes nor kicks Lazarus when he passes him at the gate. He does not tell his servants to drive Lazarus away. Neither does the parable make the slightest hint that the rich man has gained his wealth by immoral or even criminal practices. Neither is he pictured as engaging in shady deals.

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 The rich man’s sin is one of omission: although he has the money to be elegantly dressed and extremely well-fed every day, he ignores a destitute person who would have been satisfied to eat the leftovers from the lavish feasts. He fails by the standards Jesus spells out elsewhere: “I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was naked and gave me no clothing” (Mt. 25:35-36).

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The rich man may be any of us. We tend to focus only on our own concerns. Though someone’s need is already staring us in the face, we do not feel duty-bound to do anything. We are self-centered.

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Today’s gospel does not tell us to do anything spectacular for other people. We do not have to buy the homeless a house or give the hungry a food allowance for life. We are not expected to do anything out of the ordinary. Rather, we are simply asked to be there for someone in need.

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We have all the talents and gifts which we can make use of when extending help. If we have the money to share with someone who is in dire financial straits, well and good. But if we really do not have the resources, God will not condemn us. But when someone needs to talk to about a problem, then we simply have to stay and lend an ear. Believe it or not praying with and for someone has eased many troubled heart.

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In the parable, Jesus portrays a painful contrast. The rich man dressed in the most expensive clothing and presumably has many friends, as well as his five brothers and other relatives, to devour themselves at his table. Lazarus is ‘dressed’ in his sores. No one comes to him but some dogs. Where human beings fail in their duty of loving concern, the animals at least do what they can. By licking the sores of Lazarus, they give him some relief. The rich man enjoys nothing but ‘good things’, whereas Lazarus has almost nothing but ‘evil things’.

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The dreadful contrast continues after death, but now in a striking reversed shape. The poor, hungry Lazarus is carried away by the angels to be comforted in Abraham’s bosom: that is to say, in the life to come he enjoys a choice position at the heavenly, messianic banquet. The rich, well-fed man dies has gone down to be tormented in the underworld. When he looks up, he sees Lazarus at the side of Abraham. In this tragic situation the rich man now needs a little help from Lazarus, the very person he cruelly neglected during life on earth. He pleads piteously with Abraham: “send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.”

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Of course, in the parable, Jesus is not saying that riches count for anything after we die. I think he is making two points.

  1. Wealth without active mercy for the poor is great wickedness.
  2. If we close our eyes to the truth we are given, then we are doomed.

If you are gifted with material blessings, be sure to use them in a way that they become your passport to heaven and not to hell.

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Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2020 >
October
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    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

2
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2020)
    Fray Leo Alaras

3
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    POPE FRANCIS’ PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI

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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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4
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    Fray Celestino Cachapero, OAR

5
  • All day
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    WORLD TEACHER’S DAY

    BIRTHDAY
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6
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7
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8
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9
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10
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
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11
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    ST. POPE JOHN XIII

    PARISH FIESTA OF NSTRA. SNRA. BIRHEN DE LOS REMEDIOS PARISH (Tanapag Village, Saipan)
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    BIRTHDAY
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12
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    BLD. MARIA THERESA FASCE, Virgin

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
    TOMA DE HÁBITO
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    Presider & Homilist: Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR (Provincial Councilor)

    PATRONAL FIESTA: PARISH OF OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED
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    Time: 10:00 A.M. (cf. FB Live Streaming)
    Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Marilyn Gustilo, AR
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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13
  • All day
    October 13, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED BENEFACTORS OF OAR

14
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    October 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
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15
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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
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16
  • All day
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17
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18
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19
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20
  • All day
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    ST. MAGDALENE OF NAGASAKI,
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    BIRTHDAY
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21
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22
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    ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II

    BIRTHDAY
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23
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    ST. WILLIAM THE HERMIT & BLD. JOHN THE GOOD, Religious

    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2020)
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24
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25
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
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    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
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26
  • All day
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27
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28
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29
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30
  • All day
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31
  • All day
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