Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 29, 2019)

Today’s Scripture readings are a bold reminder to us: if we are women and men of faith, then we must be actively concerned about our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and less fortunate among us.

A landowner in ancient Israel was seen as God’s tenant and was expected to “pay rent” by giving alms to the poor. The rich man in today’s parable ignored the poor beggar Lazarus sitting at his own gate, so in the next life, he finds that he is in torment as Lazarus was in this life.

The dialogue between the rich man and Abraham is instructive. Abraham makes it very clear that our decisions about how we are going to live in this life affect the life-to-come. They influence how we will live in eternity.

Abraham also makes it clear that we have been given all the knowledge we need in order to enjoy eternal life with God. The Scriptures, and especially the teaching of Jesus and the celebration of Eucharist, indicate how we are to live a life that pleases God, our creator.

Pope Benedict wrote some powerful words in his Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist: “Our communities, when they celebrate the Eucharist, must become ever more conscious that the sacrifice of Christ is for all, and that the Eucharist thus compels all who believe in him to become ‘bread that is broken’ for others, and to work for the building of a more just and fraternal world.

Keeping in mind the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, we need to realize that Christ continues today to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged: ‘You yourselves, give them something to eat.’ (Mt. 14.16) Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world.”

As we take a look at the way we live and decide how we will live better in our world today, we may learn from God’s word today to be more care-full about our brothers and sisters. They are our God-given ticket to eternal union with him