for Sunday, September 26, 2010
Compete well for the faith! Fight the good fight of faith! These words
from the second reading today, from First Timothy 6:12, really set the
theme for today's liturgy. Both of the other readings are exhortations
against getting lazy or complacent in our faith.
The first reading today is from the Prophet Amos and warns those who are
complacent. Woe to the complacent, Amos tells us in no uncertain terms.
Woe to those who are quite comfortable in their lives and don't care at all
for the destruction of those who have faith.
We all know how easy it is to forget those who suffer and strive only to
obtain the things that make our lives happy and comfortable. How difficult
for any of us who get too comfortable and forget about all of those who are
suffering in our world. How easy it is to forget that probably half of the
world's population lives on only $2.50 a day and 80% live on less that $10
a day. Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate
access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
Usually it is better not to use such statistics, but simply ask each one
of us to visit a poor family in the area. How often have we ever done
that? We can often find that there are members of our own Churches who
live in dire poverty, but who still come to praise the Lord. They are far
too often ignored by the rest of us.
The Gospel picks up this same theme, giving us a picture of a really poor
man, Lazarus, a man of deep faith, living on the street in front of the
house of a wealthy man. Today perhaps the city would build a shelter to
hide the poor man, but would perhaps not do anything to change his
condition. Would we?
The challenge for so many of us is that we don't see the poor and prefer
not to see them. If we saw them consistently, we might actually do
something. Just as many communities used to keep peoples of other races
out of their areas, so also we do this with the poor. If we live in a
city, most of us know where we could meet the poorest of the poor. Do we
ever go there? The Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta can intercede for us
so that we might overcome our aversions and our fears and actually meet and
touch the homeless, the poor, the disfigured, those who are dying, etc.
Just one small encounter might change our lives forever.
May we not end in the pit because of our uneasiness with the parts of
society that we don't want to encounter! May the Lord give each of us
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: