Homily Twenty-sixth Sunday Year C Are we complacent to the needs of others?

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Homily: Twenty-sixth Sunday Year C

Reading 1: We read from the prophet Amos last Sunday. He was called by God to be his prophetic voice to the northern kingdom of Israel, whose rulers and people had broken their covenant with God. He was sent to identify their sinful life and to warn them of the dire consequences, if they did not repent and be renewed in their relationship with God.

Today, we hear from Amos again. What is their sin? Complacency, apathy and insensitivity to the dire needs of others. How has the world repeated that scenario over the centuries! The French Revolution and the socialist revolution in Russia and to a small extent our own American Revolution.

But the question we are posed with is to what extent are we insensitive to the plight of others here in our own land and around the world? Have we mentally and emotionally isolated ourselves from these situations to the extent we seem to ignore them? Who are the prophets of today, calling us to hear the Word of God and to respond to the needs of the situation of others as God requires?

Gospel: The irony in the Gospel is that the rich man had so isolated himself from the reality of the poor man so that he didn’t have to deal with it. But in so doing he isolated himself from the bosom of Abraham, the root of his heritage. This is indicated by the chasm between the two.

Recognizing his dire strait, the rich man tried to intercede for his brothers. But he is told even a miraculous intervention will not make a difference, if one’s heart is closed and hardened like his.

The case in point. The spiritual leaders of Israel at the time were so hardened against Jesus. In spite of the prophets who had spoken God’s word to them about the coming Messiah, they still refused to accept Jesus or his message of salvation. This in spite of familiarity with the Word of God and witnessing the many signs and wonders he performed.
In fact, Jesus concludes that even when they will be made aware of his own resurrection, they still will refused to believe.

Do we sometimes isolate ourselves from the truths of reality for fear that it may call us to make a radical change in our lives? Do I prefer to see things through my colored lens and comfort zone rather than through the eyes of God? Am I so overwhelmed by the enormity of the task that I give up, accepting there is nothing I can do?

The Word of God is calling us to become the man or woman of God, doing what I can and must to be faithful to God. When I do, then my witness may become a catalyst and an example for others. My standard of measurement is to be God’s commands not what is commonly acceptable by society or what would make me fit into the crowd. Isolation and non-involvement are not the answers. Renewal and pressing on is what God desires, even if it means rejection by others.

Reading 2: What is the attitude God desires and expects of us, if we claim to be his? To be truly a man or woman of God! Have we consciously embraced and lived out of this identity? If we have not, the rest of what St. Paul doesn’t matter. But if we are trying to become more fully alive in Christ, then what Paul says becomes our marching orders.

“Seek after integrity, piety, faith, love, steadfastness and a gentle spirit.” Since we have made a profession of faith, our oath of allegiance to God, a statement of commitment, then our life-style should be so reflective.

Sometimes we get caught up with the daily struggles of life that we forget the end goal of our existence as a son or daughter of God. The daily struggles will only ensure my earthly existence. But I must also be concerned about my eternal existence, which will be based on how I embraced the call of God in my life in the present moment

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