for Sunday, September 22, 2013
How do you and I treat really poor people? How do we treat people who are
different from ourselves? People from another culture? People who live on
the street? People who are dirty? People who are drunk on the street?
People who live in situations that we don't approve of? Jesus wants us to
know that we must love everyone. We cannot serve God and not love others.
We cannot seek just the things that are for us and forget others.
The first reading today is from the Prophet Amos. This Prophet was known
for telling off the rich and the powerful. He was clear that those with
wealth and power should never oppress the poor and the powerless. Yet, it
always happens. The Jewish Scriptures are always clear: God is the
protector of the poor and the powerless. Those who oppress the poor and
the powerless will eventually have to present themselves to God and hear
The First Letter to Timothy is the source of the second reading today. The
teaching today reminds us to pray: for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. If
those in authority serve others well, the world is at peace and all can
live with devotion and dignity. Has the world ever been that way? Do we
see the world that way today? If so many cannot live with devotion and
dignity, then we must pray all the more for those in authority.
The section from Luke's Gospel today teaches us more about the relationship
between the wealthy and powerful and the poor and powerless. Jesus is
clear that we cannot serve God and serve any other person or thing that
would get in the way with our relationship with God. Mammon is any form of
material wealth or greed. We all suffer from our relationship to mammon at
various levels. God invites us to be free so that we can freely give our
lives to others in service and love.
Everyone is invited to reform by these readings today. All of us are
invited to seek out the poor and the needy, the helpless, and find ways to
help them. Usually we only have to look at our neighbors to find the poor
and the needy in some form. Those who are helpless are all around us and
even in our own families and communities. Far too often our eyes are
closed and we do not see the truth.
God, help us to see. Open our eyes. May we walk in the way of Jesus
Christ and love all others. Amen.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Amos 8.4-7
Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2.1-7++
Gospel: Luke 16.1-13
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: