‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Luke 16:19-31
26th SUNDAY Ordinary Time Cycle C
We have all heard Aesop’s fable of the race between the hare and the turtle – how the fast rabbit still lost to the slow turtle due to the latter’s complacency. Dr. Jose Rizal made his own version of the fable where the simple turtle fooled the smart monkey who threw him into the river thinking he could not swim.
The moral is simple – never be complacent with what you are or what you have. Chances are you could still lose in the end in spite of all the advantage you might have.
In the end of time there is the great reversal of fortune. Those who are rich now will weep in the end. Those who weep now because of great want will finally smile with great satisfaction. Luke summarized this reversal in his version of the beatitudes and woes in the sermon on the plain.
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.” Luke 6:20–49
With this we are forewarned not to be too complacent with hard-earned possessions and even with God-give talents. This was the mistake of the hare. Use whatever blessings you have received to help others beside yourself. This was the mistake of the rich man.
Amos thus in the first reading warns us: “Woe to the complacent in Zion! Stretched comfortably on their couches, they drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the best oils. They shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.” This has happened in the past but it also serves a warning for the future. Amos 6:1a.4-7.
The letter to Timothy thus admonishes us to take action: “Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called.” 1 Timothy 6:11-16.
Therefore unlike the rich man always share your surplus.
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