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Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

28 September 2019

Reflecting on Luke 16: 19-31

Here it is again, that marvelous story Jesus tells of Dives—which means “rich man,” and is a made-up name for the guy Jesus purposely wanted to keep nameless—and Lazarus, whom Jesus names many times in his story, just in case we missed the point that he who was ignored in life goes into heaven with his name preserved for eternal memory.

Speaking of names, don’t miss this: Dives ignored Lazarus, even as he begged right outside his door in the most desperate of circumstances. But once Dives was in eternal torment, he all of sudden remembered the name of that beggar whom I’ll bet he didn’t call by name a single time in life.

That really gives the lie to what we often say about those who are poor: I don’t know them, and I can’t help those I don’t know. I’ll bet Dives made that same excuse, but it turns out he DID know his name all along. Lazarus was so familiar to him, in fact, that he took his name into hell and tried to use it to get himself out.

Talk about privilege. Dives was in hell, for heaven’s sake, and he still thought he could snap his fingers and make  Lazarus—comforted forever in the very bosom of Abraham—his errand boy.

The thing is, Dives made his own destiny of torment. He built it, day by day, through his willful ignorance and malignant neglect of the man dying at his door.

How are you building your destiny? First Timothy exhorts us to “compete well in the faith.” Okay, I’m putting on patience, gentleness and faith. See you at the finish line. Game on.

How are you competing for the destiny of life on high with Christ Jesus?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

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