Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Twenty-sixth Sunday in the Ordinary TimeC

Twenty-sixth Sunday of the OTC

 

Readings: Amo 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Tim 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31.

 

1/ Reading I: RSV Amos 6:1 "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria. 4 Woe to those who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the midst of the stall; 5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David invent for themselves instruments of music; 6 who drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! 7 Therefore they shall now be the first of those to go into exile, and the revelry of those who stretch themselves shall pass away."

 

2/ Reading II: RSV 1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; 15 and this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

 

3/ Gospel: RSV Luke 16:19 "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' 25 But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' 27 And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' 29 But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"



I. THEME: We must know how to manage God’s gifts for us. 

 

            The lesson about how to properly use money is important for our life, because so many people in the world and through generations don’t know this lesson. The results for their ignorance are many: they fall into the devil’s temptations and cause many dangerous results for them, their family, society and the Church, both in this and the next life. Today readings are necessary for us to learn and to reflect, and then to draw out concrete conclusions in using money and in educating those whom we are responsible for.

            In the first reading, the prophet Amos forewarned kings and leaders of the Israel’s kingdom about the two sins which they committed: They misused of power in squandering public money for their luxurious lifestyle instead of helping people to have enough food to eat and they didn’t fulfill their duty of educating people to know God. In the second reading, St. Paul advised Timothy, his disciple, to avoid all temptations caused by the greed for money and to use time to acquire needed virtues which are necessary for the eternal life which God shall give for the faithful on Christ’s glorious second coming. In the Gospel, Jesus gave people the parable of a rich man and Lazarus, a poor man, to remind people to know how to live this life to achieve the eternal life, because the next life shall be opposite with what happen in this present life.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Woe to those, “who drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!”

           

1.1/ Rich people do worthless things: The prophet Amos wrote these stern words in Israel for the kings and his leaders in both Israel and Judah’s kingdom, when these two kingdoms aren’t lost and on exile yet, “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria.” Zion is the capital of Judah’s kingdom and Samaria of the Israel’s kingdom. The kings and the leaders of Judah might think they have Jerusalem temple, God’s dwelling place, so that no power can destroy God’s house. The king and the leaders of Israel might think the same because God ordered to separate the country in two parts, and they also have God’s temple at Bethel to protect them. They thought that their nations shall continue to be protected by God so they could enjoy their richness. Amos accused them two things:

            (1) They used their richness on useless things: A bed is used for sleeping or rest; people only need to have a frame and a mattress. They don’t need it to be made out of ivory, nor precious wood nor pearl. All these things are used by the rich to show their richness. According to Jewish custom, a lamb or a calf is killed to offer a sacrifice, or to welcome a special guest; not to be done daily.

            (2) They wasted their time for enjoyment: When people have material things more than they need, they shall use them for useless things. Instead of using their time to educate and to govern people, the leaders “sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David invent for themselves instruments of music; who (they) drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils.” They wanted to use these things to display the richness of their kingdom.

1.2/ They are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! The prophet Amos used “the ruin of Joseph” to indicate the destruction of both kingdoms. Some commentators said it is only implied the Northern kingdom because the two biggest tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, are Joseph’s children. According to Amos, two biggest sins of the king and leaders violated against God are:

            (1) Forsaking God: The king and the leaders chased after the richness and forsook God. They no longer thought of God’s teaching; because if they do, they shall not act as such.

            (2) Social injustice: Richness often relates to social injustice. Amos listed out some social injustice in the previous chapters such as: misusing public funds for individual things, bribery, using power to steal the poor’s properties, etc.

            Amos’ prophecy was fulfilled in the year of 721 BC, when the Assyrians invaded and destroyed the Northern kingdom. The king and the leaders “shall now be the first of those to go into exile; and the revelry of those who stretch themselves shall pass away.” The Southern kingdom lasted a little longer, but was also invaded and completely destroyed by the Babylonians in the year of 587 BC; the king and all the leaders are the first ones on exile.

2/ Reading II: “Keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2.1/ The lifestyle of Christ’s disciple: St. Paul called Timothy, his disciple, with a dignified title, “man of God.” In the Old Testament, Moses and the prophets are called “men of God.” Paul’s purpose in calling Timothy with this title is to advise him to live according to it; the man of God must live a lifestyle different with men of the world. Paul listed out what Timothy must do:

            (1) Shun all this: Based on what St. Paul wrote in the previous passage, “all this” are the worry about worldly things and the forsaking God to chase after the allurement of richness.

            (2) Acquire virtues: St. Paul listed out all the necessary virtues such as: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness. If the faithful aren’t influenced by the allurement of richness, they shall have wisdom and time to learn and to acquire virtues according to God’s requirements.

            (3) Fight the good fight of the faith and take hold of the eternal life: The eternal life is the most important reason which the faithful must always remember that they are called to reach it. St. Paul might want to remind Timothy of his profession when he was baptized which are to renounce the devil and all of his temptations, and at the same time to believe in God and the eternal life. St. Paul also gave Timothy an exemplar to follow, that is: Jesus Christ. He courageously acclaimed that he is “the king of the Jews” though this claim shall bring him the death penalty.

            (4) Keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach: The faithful not only know their ultimate goal, they also know the way how to reach this goal by keeping God’s commandments. By living according to God’s commandment, they live a perfect life, free of all reproach.

2.2/ Christ shall appear again to reward the eternal life: Paul also reminded Timothy two very important things of the Catholic faith: First, Christ shall return to judge people. All people must answer to him what they did during their time living in the world. Secondly, God is the only One whom all people must orient their life to, not power, nor material things, nor anything else.

 

3/ Gospel: The results of the two opposite lifestyles

3.1/ This present life

            (1) The indifference of the rich man: Clothing are used to keep people warm or to cover their nakedness; while the poor have not enough clothing to wear, the rich man “was clothed in purple and fine linen.” Food help people to protect their life; while the poor can’t afford a full meal, the rich man “feasted sumptuously every day.”

            (2) Lazarus’ suffered life: He suffered a lot but firmly believed in God’s providence. He is not only poor but also endured painful sores in his body. St. Luke reported Lazarus’ sufferings in these words, “At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”

            According to the passage, we can recognize the two sins of the rich man. First, he is indifferent with the needs of other. Lazarus lied in front of his door; he must saw Lazarus when he got in and out of his house; but he chose to be indifferent and insensible to the needs of other. Secondly, he didn’t think about the next life and paid no attention to God’s teaching; if he did, he shall not act as such.

3.2/ The next life: Everybody must die; so Jesus continued the story, “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.” What happens in the next life is totally opposite with the present life.

            (1) The rich man: He never concerned about Lazarus’ hungry and painful disease, never gave him even a piece of bread, now asked for his help, “Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.” He didn’t know what Jesus warned people, “The measure you give will be the measure you get.” (Mk 4:24).

            (2) Lazarus: is called Eleazar in Hebrew, meaning: “God is my hope.” Abraham explained clearly about the results of the two lifestyles for the rich man and Lazarus, “Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.”

3.3/ How to treat people’s indifference? The rich man still remembers his brothers who are still living, so he said to Abraham, “Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And he said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” He said to him, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”

            This must be a serious warning for the indifferent people. It isn’t by witnessing a miracle or seeing a person coming back from dead that helps people to change their life. People must spend time to learn and to understand Moses and the prophets’ teachings before they can apply them in their daily life. The indifference can’t be healed by miracles; but by learning and living according to the truth.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                    

            - God gives material things for all people to use. We can’t be selfish to use them only for ourselves and our family, and have no concern for people around us. We should have loving concern for all, especially for the poor. To help them is to help God Himself (Mt 25).

            - We should practice to have compassion for others and educate our children to do the same; if not, our heart shall become a stone and we shall have no compassion for others. Such a heart shall cause many damages for us and others.

            - God doesn’t punish richness, neither He advertises poverty. What He wants to teach people is to wisely administer His gifts, to bring benefits for all people in this life and the life to come.

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: