The readings and message for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time are a continuation from the previous week’s readings and message. If you recall in last week’s first reading from the Prophet Amos the Lord was warning His people who were more interested in lining their own pockets not concerned at all with anyone else. And in last week’s Gospel Jesus pulled no punches as He said straight out, “No servant can serve two masters…You will either hate one and love the other.”
In this week’s first reading we again hear the Lord through Amos who warns those who are indifferent to those less fortunate. He is speaking to those who lay on beds of ivory, comfortable couches and who drink wine from bowls instead of a glass. The Lord says, “Yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph.”
And in the Gospel Jesus tells the story to the Pharisees (upper class) of the rich man who ignored the needs of Lazarus who begged at his door yet he did not acknowledge him.
Are we told these stories to make us feel guilty? No. But we are reminded as disciples of Christ to be aware of social justice with Jesus as our example. The key word is “indifference” which means uninterested, apathetic or impartial. As disciples we cannot be indifferent, refusing to see.
We cannot take care of all the world’s poor but we can do something, we can do our part sharing a portion from the blessings we have been given. And we can strive to live as St. Paul exhorts Timothy and us in the second reading, “Pursue righteous, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness…keeping the commandment (love God & neighbor) without reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to the opposite of indifference which is awareness that leads to action. In this we will be a good stewards of what belongs to another, what has been loaned to us to manage. And we will not serve two masters but the only true master Jesus the Christ.
In the words of St. Paul, “To Him be honor and eternal power. Amen!”