WSC Reflection September 25, 2022

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C, Year II)
Community Word: True Disciples of Christ know and follow His teachings.
Theme: We know and follow Christ’s teachings when we are just and compassionate to the poor and the marginalized.
Promise: “Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry.” (Ps 146:7)

Our guiding theme for the week speaks of emulating the heart of Christ by reaching out and sharing our time, talent and resources with the poor. The liturgical readings of the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time focus on the virtue of generosity, the underlying message being that – just as our Triune God is always generous to us, generosity should be part of our normal disposition as Christians.
In the 1st reading, Amos describes the behavior of a wantonly over-indulgent, self-centered rich, wallowing in all the excesses wealth can buy, and living in wild abandon, luxury and revelry, unmindful of the sufferings of poverty around him. In contrast, in the 2nd reading, St. Paul exhorts Timothy to live an exemplary life as a leader in community through the exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness,” (1 Tim. 6:11). Paul’s exhortation also extends to all of us in this generation so that we may not get consumed by the dictates of the world and thus lose gaining Eternal Life promised us by Jesus Christ. In the last judgment what matters is how we have treated the last, the least and the lost among us.
In the Gospel, the mindless, self-indulgent life of a rich man “dressed in purple and fine linen,” who lived in luxury every day is contrasted against the life of the beggar Lazarus, who “longed to eat of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.” The rich man was totally absorbed in his comforts and luxury, he could not spare a thought, let alone reach out in love, to the starving beggar at his gate. He was so immersed in his own luxurious, narrow world; he was blind to the plight and numbed to the pain and suffering of the man at his doorstep. When both men died, the rich man went to the place of torment, while Lazarus was carried by angels to Abraham’s side.
When we live our life ‘in the spirit’, we receive the power to be generous in thought, word and deed. For a life lived ‘in the spirit’ is a life of active faith in God, whether we are rich or poor, because generosity is a response to God’s commandment of love. And no one is so poor, he has nothing to give, or so rich, he cannot receive. It is all a matter of honoring God in our lives, the Author, Creator, and Source of all that we are and all things we call our own. God should be at the center of everything we do. Therefore, excessive attachments should serve as a warning to us about where our souls might be headed. This is not to say we are not to enjoy God’s blessings here on earth, but mindless overindulgence and indifference to the needs of the poor are what will condemn us, like the rich man in the gospel.
As Christians, we are to be sensitive to the needs of our brothers, fix our eyes on the Giver and not the gift, and strive to be like Christ, our loving, compassionate, generous and merciful God. As the Psalmist declares in our promise this week: “Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry.” (Ps 146:7).

Father God, You are so generous in love and compassion. I come before You with a repentant heart for the times I failed to see and respond to the needs of others, especially the poor; for the times when I allowed myself to be so absorbed in the pleasures of this material world, or so focused on my own needs, that I failed to share, or deliberately withheld the resources you have given me, whether material or spiritual, from those who needed my help; and for the times I failed to honor you and respond to your call to minister to the lonely and broken hearted. I acknowledge my shortcomings, Lord, and I ask that You grant me the grace to become more generous with my time, talent and resources, in response to Your commandment to love those who are in need. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. What is my most treasured possession?
  2. What is in my nature that hinders me from loving like Christ?
  3. Share any struggles and blessings in the area of generosity and compassion that you have experienced.

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
September 25, 2022 (Sun) – Am 6:1, 4-7/Ps 146:7, 8-9, 9-10/1 Tm 6:11-16/Lk 16:19-31
September 26, 2022 (Mon) – Jb 1:6-22/Ps 17:1, 2, 3, 6, 7/Lk 9:46-50
September 27, 2022 (Tue) – Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23/Ps 88:2-8/Lk 9:51-56
September 28, 2022 (Wed) – Jb 9:1-12, 14-16/Ps 88:10-15/Lk 9:57-62
September 29, 2022 (Thu) – Dn 7:9-10, 13-14/Ps 138:1-5/Jn 1:47-51
September 30, 2022 (Fri) – Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5/ps 139:1-3, 7-10, 13, 14/Lk 10:13-16
October 1, 2022 (Sat) – Jb 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-16/Ps 119::66, 71, 75, 91,125/Lk 10:17-24

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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