Jesuit Father Antoine Kerhuel introduces us to meditation, with the readings for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time of liturgical year C.
First lecture: Am 6, 1a. 4-7
Psalm: Ps 145 (146), 6c.7, 8.9a, 9bc-10
Second Reading: 1 Tim 6, 11-16
gospel: Lk 16, 19-31
“Lord, allow us to enter into the look of compassion that you have on each one of us“. This is the prayer that we could address after having listened to the readings proposed in the liturgy of this Sunday.
Formerly, long ago, the prophet Amos vigorously challenged the rich who lived in luxury and feasted without caring about the drama that was going to strike the people who had moved away from the Covenant with their God. Amos had prophesied the deportation of the people and said, of the wealthy: “the wallowing band will no longer exist.»
In today’s Gospel we are told the parable of the rich and the poor Lazarus. In a city lives a very rich man who spends his days in carefree parties, while a poor man, Lazarus, lies at his doorstep. Lazarus dies and is taken to Abraham, the father of believers; the rich man dies in his turn and, in Hades, he is a prey to torture. A deep abyss separates these two worlds, and it is impossible for Lazarus to come and alleviate the sufferings of the rich by refreshing his mouth. And when the rich man suggests to Abraham that he allow Lazarus to leave Hades to warn his brothers, who are still alive, of the fate that awaits them, Abraham replies:They have Moses and the Prophets: let them listen to them! (…) If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, someone may well rise from the dead, they will not be convinced.»
Like his brothers, the rich man has no name. He, like his brothers, is not reproached with being rich, but with being incapable of looking at the poor who stand at their door, of being attentive neither to the Covenant sealed by Moses nor to the warnings of the Prophets. They live in a kind of bubble, in the recklessness of a comfort that has annihilated any desire to be in relation with others than themselves. Well settled in their “separate” world, they pay little attention to the way in which God made a Covenant with his people, freeing them from slavery in Egypt, giving them Moses as a guide and admonishing them with the Prophets when he moved away from the Covenant. This “apart” world, which arises in reference to itself, is going to its ruin. Since the time of Jesus, how many there are of these worlds which consider themselves “apart”!
In the psalm read this Sunday, the perspective is quite different. The psalmist marvels at the Lord who does justice to the oppressed, who gives bread to the hungry, who protects the stranger, who sustains the widow and the orphan (and the list does not stop at these actions alone). Life, the fullness of life, is found in a world where everyone’s dignity is clearly proclaimed or restored if it has ever been compromised… at the antipode of the culture of waste or throw-away that constantly threatens our societies. , until today.
The texts of this Sunday’s liturgy therefore call us to free ourselves from any fallacious desire to confine our lives to closed circles; they invite us to enter, ever more deeply, into the gaze of compassion that the Lord casts on all of us considered collectively, and on each of us taken individually. May we welcome, each one of us, the exhortation that the apostle Paul addresses to Timothy in the second reading of this Sunday:You, man of God, seek justice, piety, faith, charity, perseverance and gentleness»! And we might add: “Enter into the gaze of compassion that the Lord has on you and on the world.»
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Meditation for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time C: “Entering the compassionate gaze of God” – Vatican News
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