Liturgy of the Sunday

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Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading

Amos 6,1.4-7

Disaster for those so comfortable in Zion and for those so confident on the hill of Samaria, the notables of this first of nations, those to whom the House of Israel has recourse! Lying on ivory beds and sprawling on their divans, they dine on lambs from the flock, and stall-fattened veal; they bawl to the sound of the lyre and, like David, they invent musical instruments; they drink wine by the bowlful, and lard themselves with the finest oils, but for the ruin of Joseph they care nothing. That is why they will now go into captivity, heading the column of captives. The sprawlers' revelry is over.


Psalm 145


Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

My soul, give praise to the Lord;
I will praise the Lord all my days,
make music to God while I live.

Put no trust in princes,
in mortal men in whom there is no help.

Take their breath, they return to clay
and their plans that day come to nothing.

He is happy who is helped by Jacob's God,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,

who alone made heaven and earth,
the seas and all they contain.

It is he who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,

the Lord who protects the stranger
and upholds the widow and orphan.

It is the Lord who loves the just
but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion's God, from age to age.

Second Reading

1 Timothy 6,11-16

But, as someone dedicated to God, avoid all that. You must aim to be upright and religious, filled with faith and love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith and win the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made your noble profession of faith before many witnesses. Now, before God, the source of all life, and before Jesus Christ, who witnessed to his noble profession of faith before Pontius Pilate, I charge you to do all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who at the due time will be revealed by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, who alone is immortal, whose home is in inaccessible light, whom no human being has seen or is able to see: to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 16,19-31

'There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man's table. Even dogs came and licked his sores. Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham's embrace. The rich man also died and was buried. 'In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace. So he cried out, "Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames." Abraham said, "My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours." 'So he said, "Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father's house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too." Abraham said, "They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them." The rich man replied, "Ah no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent." Then Abraham said to him, "If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead."


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


The Gospel parable of poor Lazarus is a direct reminder of the cruelty of this world of ours: there are many who, clothed in purple and byssus, feast lavishly and fail to notice the countless poor Lazarus lying abandoned at their doorstep. Their cruelty seems even more bitter than that of the rich man in the parable. How can we fail to notice the harsh words of the prophet Amos: "Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, ... Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock ... drink wine from bowls, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!" The evangelist does not mention the name of the rich man as if to suggest that indifference is the name that unites all the carefree egocentricities of this world. Pope Francis, in Assisi, at a meeting of religious leaders said: "The great disease of our time is indifference. And it is a virus that paralyses, makes us inert and insensitive, a disease that erodes the very centre of religiosity, generating a new and very sad paganism: the paganism of indifference." Yes, the indifference of that rich man, the indifference of so many rich people today is a sign of paganism, of the presence of the diabolical force that destroys. Indifference is the exact opposite of God, who is the friend of mankind, the friend of the poor, the defender of the weak, the philanthropist. God disregards the rich man, while he calls by name the poor man covered in sores who stands at the door with only dogs at his side. But God is moved and stands beside Lazarus and saves him.
The Gospel page suggests that indifference seems to prevent even God from overcoming the abyss that human beings dig around themselves. It is a severe warning: those who build their lives only for themselves, in reality build their own hell.
But there is the warning of the rich man as he fell into torment. It is a cry that seems like a desperate prayer, a stern warning to the other brothers. At last, one might say, the man has remembered others. And he seems to cry out with an excess of false severity. In any case, it is an exhortation not to waste the time of one's life and to take advantage of mercy, to avoid creating chasms between people and to multiply the effort to fill them. Abraham replied to the worried rich man: "They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them." There are no extraordinary events to be performed. We have been given the Word of God. Listening to it is the task of believers to convert their hearts. And the wisdom of the Church will repeat it to us also on the last day when we will receive our last farewell before our journey into heaven: "May the angels accompany you into paradise, and may the martyrs welcome you when you arrive, and may you and Lazarus, poor on earth, enjoy paradise with Abraham."