Lectionary 26, Year C
Consideration of and care for those in need (especially those “at our gate,” visible to us, of whom we are aware) is an essential component of good stewardship. It is in the sharing of wealth that we avoid the snare of wealth. It is the one whom death could not hold—who comes to us risen from the dead—who can free us from the death grip of greed.
First Reading: Amos 6:1a, 4-7
The prophet Amos announces that Israel’s great wealth is a cause not for rejoicing but rather sorrow, because God’s people have forgotten how to share their wealth with the poor. The wealthy will be the first to go into exile when judgment comes.
1aAlas for those who are at ease in Zion,
and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
4Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,
and lounge on their couches,
and eat lambs from the flock,
and calves from the stall;
5who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,
and like David improvise on instruments of music;
6who drink wine from bowls,
and anoint themselves with the finest oils,
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!
7Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,
and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.
Psalm: Psalm 146
The Lord gives justice to those who are oppressed. (Ps. 146:7)
1Hal- | lelujah!
Praise the Lord, | O my soul!
2I will praise the Lord as long | as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I | have my being.
3Put not your | trust in rulers,
in mortals in whom there | is no help.
4When they breathe their last, they re- | turn to earth,
and in that day | their thoughts perish. R
5Happy are they who have the God of Jacob | for their help,
whose hope is in the | Lord their God;
6who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that | is in them;
who keeps promis- | es forever;
7who gives justice to those who are oppressed, and food to | those who hunger.
The Lord sets the | captive free.
8The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord lifts up those who | are bowed down;
the Lord| loves the righteous.
9The Lord cares | for the stranger;
the Lord sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way | of the wicked.
10The Lord shall | reign forever,
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. | Hallelujah! R
Second Reading: Romans 3:21-24
21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
Jesus tells a parable in which the poor one is “lifted up” and the rich one is “sent away empty.” Jesus makes it clear that this ethic of merciful reversal is not new but is as old as Moses and the prophets.
[Jesus said:] 19“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—28for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
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