September 29th, 2013 – Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

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In today’s readings the Lord teaches us to sensitive and responsive to the needs of others.

The rich man in today’s gospel is not punished for anything he did to the poor man Lazarus. We are not told that he shouted at him, or abused him in any way. But rather, he is guilty of not having done anything to alleviate his need. Similarly, in the first reading the prophet castigates the rich in Israel not so much for their ivory seats or golden vessels, but for their neglect of the ruin of Joseph. By Joseph Amos means “their poor brothers and sisters, fellow Israelites.” We recall in the book of Genesis how the sons of Jacob sold their brother Joseph in slavery, insensitive to his plea for mercy and to his misery. The rich in their revelry forget that the poor are their own flesh and blood.

Sometimes we may feel justified even before the need of others. We may argue to ourselves that we worked hard for what we have. We owe nothing to anyone. We have not offended anyone. Besides, we could not help the whole world even if we wanted. Yet this is besides the point. We should ask ourselves, do we do enough to respond to the need of others. We pray that we may not be like the brothers of the rich man, who would not listen even to a person from the under world, but that we may be moved to action by the word of God which urges us to charity.