29 September 2019. Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Richard Anthony Lim)
Ever since I was a child, I have been taught about the value of money. I remember constantly being told that money does not grow on trees. I grew up abhorring extravagance, and I always kept in mind that I should not spend more than what I earn. One of the challenges I am facing in the seminary is that I am not earning anymore. I am only spending for various seminary expenses. Thus, I try to extend my savings by managing my expenses. This attitude of thrift does not only apply to money but to other resources as well. There’s a battle within me when it comes to giving, especially to people I do not know. A few weeks ago, I saw a street vendor give food to a beggar. I was inspired by the act of generosity but I felt ashamed for such acts do not come easy for me.
In the Gospel today, Jesus reminds me about the value of compassion for our brethren, especially those who are in need of love and care. Jesus’ life is always about love because He is love. For us, love is not measured by how much money we can give, or how much goods we can extend. It is the self-giving – sharing our time, presence, availability – that matters more. May I always be reminded of Him who gave his life so I too can live.
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
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.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
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.’
‘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.
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.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”