Sunday, September 29, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, September 29, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Amos 6:1, 4-7 (or Daniel 7:9-10.13-14 or Revelation 12:7-12)
Thus says the Lord the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall! Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their own accompaniment. 6They drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the best oils; yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.
P S A L M - Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10 (or Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5)
R: Praise the Lord, my soul!
Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets captives free. (R) The Lord gives sight to the blind; the Lord raises up those that were bowed down. The Lord loves the just; the Lord protects strangers. (R) The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. 10The Lord shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, through allgenerations. Alleluia. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Timothy 6:11-16
11 But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 12 Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, 14 to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ 15 that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Luke 16:19-31 (or John 1:47-51)
19 Jesus said to the Pharisees: “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. 20 And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. 22 When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried,23 and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’ 25Abraham replied, ‘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. 26 Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ 27 He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’29 But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”



Today’s Gospel has become the basis of the Theology of Crumbs popularized by the Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales whose brainchild, Pondo ng Pinoy, finds its inspiration from the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man would feast at his table while Lazarus was at his doorsteps, waiting for the crumbs that would fall from his table. But he was deprived even of the crumbs. Dogs would occasionally come and lick the sores on Lazarus’s body. Finally, both Lazarus and the rich man died. Lazarus went to the bosom of Abraham where he found his just reward while the rich man went to the netherworld where he experienced indescribable torment.

       It is clear that Lazarus, who suffered in silence and lived a destitute life without any complaint, was given the reward of a much-deserved afterlife. His only concern for survival were the crumbs which, ironically, were taken away from him due to the rich man’s indifference and insensitivity.

       The rich man went to the netherworld because he already had his fill on earth. He was not punished because he was rich but because he failed to feel the needs of those who were asking for his help. He could have given a portion of his bountiful meal to the beggar, but he chose not to.

       The First Reading speaks of complacency of people who lay upon beds of ivory, drinking the best wine and anointing themselves with costly oil. The Second Reading suggests that we should “pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.”

       Paul’s challenge to Timothy is to “compete well for the faith.” And it can only be achieved if we learn to share whatever we have, not those we do not need but the ones important to us. Competing for the faith means painfully sharing a part of ourselves to others.

       Learn to share. And share more. It’s the beginning of a grand investment and you’ll be assured of a real good life — in the bosom of Abraham! Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do you follow in your life the principles of Pondo ng Pinoy?
Lord, show me Lazarus every day that I may be able to feed and nourish him. Amen.

Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, archangels, pray for us.

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