Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Lectionary: 138
Read the Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

Gospel Summary

As was often Jesus’ message, today’s Gospel reverses the rich and poor of this world and the next. Lazarus, a poor beggar who was most likely crippled and had open sores that dogs licked, sat every day beneath the window of a rich man. The rich man dined lavishly everyday and completely ignored Lazarus. Eventually, they both died and the angels carried Lazarus to heaven where he was held by Abraham. The rich man went to hell where he was parched and tormented. Looking up, the rich man saw Lazarus comforted by Abraham and still with arrogant behavior, asked Abraham to send Lazarus down to dip water onto his tongue. Abraham explained that there could be no crossing from one place to the next and that the rich man was stuck with the consequences of his earthly behavior. The man knew it futile then to argue for himself but begged Abraham to send someone to his brothers to warn them that they needed to change, or they would end up as he had. Abraham reminded the man that his brothers had already been told all that, and it was now up to them whether or not they believed it. Even the raising of a dead person would not convince them if their hearts were closed.

Reflection for Families

Most often we think of ourselves as rich people sharing our resources with those in need, and indeed, that is what we, as Christians, are called to do. But have we ever been the one being served? Perhaps we have not found it necessary to receive material goods from others, but what have others given us out of generosity in the form or time, energy, or actions. Maybe someone sat with us when one of our children was sick, or helped us with some physical chore when our burden was too heavy to carry alone. It might even be a coach or teacher who has helped our children in a generous way. How can the actions of these people help us better live this Gospel message today? What can we give of ourselves?

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

Gather items from your home that are in good condition and not necessarily the things you plan to get rid of anyway–maybe a new item of clothing, a new book, or toy that you’re not quite finished with. Place them all in one area of your home, possibly a prayer area. Pray over the items and for the people who will be receiving them and then take them to a shelter for families that are suffering hardship. Continue to pray for the people who will receive and use the items you offer.

Discussion Starters

  1. The way I feel about having so much more than someone else is . . .
  2. One way I believe we can fill in the distance between the world of “haves” and “have nots” is . . .
  3. One of the greatest incidents of inequality that I see is . . .