Ordinary Time, 26th Sunday (C) Today's parable has a simple message: rich people are going to hell. We in the United States, both globally or historically, are some of the richest people who ever lived. This parable is meant for us.
So what's the good news? First, the attitude of your heart is the most important thing, more important than how much we own or how much we give. Second, the rich man has both invitation and opportunity. He has been commanded by Jewish law to be generous. God has placed a rich man within easy reach. He does not have far to go to find invitations to be generous. Third, we are running out of chances to be generous. Respond with kindness while you are able.
Let me give you some practical advice.
- Notice the needy. Learn their names. Listen to their stories.
- See the needy as an opportunity, not an imposition.
- Give in three ways:
- To charities that serve the poor, such as Living Waters International.
- Volunteer your time to serve the poor.
- Even if you cannot give money or time, you can still give kindness.
We need to start at home. Start noticing the needs of your of your own family and co-workers. They might need an onion and you might need to give an onion.
(25 Sep 2022)
Going Deeper: Meditate on this little story: Once upon a time there was a peasant woman and a very wicked woman she was. And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God; ‘She once pulled up an onion in her garden,’ said he, ‘and gave it to a beggar woman.’ And God answered: ‘You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.’ The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her. ‘Come,’ said he, ‘catch hold and I’ll pull you out.’ he began cautiously pulling her out. He had just pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her. But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them. ‘I’m to be pulled out, not you. It’s my onion, not yours.’ As soon as she said that, the onion broke. And the woman fell into the lake and she is burning there to this day.
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