“Blessed he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets captives free…
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (September 25, 2022): AM 6:1,4-7; PS 146:7,8-9,9-10;1 TM 6:11-16; LK 16:19-31
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The Lord raises up those who were bowed down. The Lord loves the just.” (Psalm 146:7-9)
The readings that come today from Amos and Luke are severe in criticizing those blessed with the trappings of wealth who do not use this gift in accordance with God’s plan. From the Old and the New Testaments we know that the Almighty wants us to express our love for Him through love of neighbor. This clearly means sharing with those in need in real and practical ways. Too often the comforts that come with money and possessions are taken for granted by those that have them. More than that, people who “have” -- even those of us who aspire to be good Christians -- may feel that this is simply the way the world is. They may think that while it might be a good and noble thing to help others out of kindness, they are not actually required to do so. However, the Scriptures this Sunday tell us something very different: “Thus says the Lord the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion!” (Amos 16:1) God calls none of us to be complacent in anything, certainly not in matters of justice, mercy, and charity.
The reading from the first letter of Timothy calls us to understand what Christ expects His disciples to do and to be. “But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called. … Keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:11-12,14-15). If we want to obtain life everlasting in company with our Savior, the Son of God, we need to embrace a generous, compassionate life. We need to share our whole selves along with the spiritual and material gifts He has given us. We need to sincerely love our neighbors as ourselves, one by one, especially those who are most in want. St. Ignatius Loyola said that “Love consists in sharing what one has and what one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words.”
Suggested missionary action: Let us make an effort our live our love each day by serving Almighty God through His people. And that means not only those near and dear to us, but also every person we meet. Each person, particularly those wounded in body, in mind, in heart, or in soul deserves our loving kindness and care.