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September 25, 1992     The Message
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September 25, 1992

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September 25, 1992 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana n, hill iml i iii Commentary , ii i i i 9 II I IIIII II :: 7!"% Gospel Commentary for Sunday, Sept. 27, 1992, Twenty-sixth Sunday, Cycle C: Luke 16: 19.31. Luke continues a major theme of his gospel, a warning against the excesses of wealth and an affirmation of the poor. Today he does so with Jesus' .parable of the rich man and Lazarus the poor, diseased beggar. The total contrast between the two is a masterful plot by an artistic genius. The rich man does nothing but eat splendid ban- quets "every day," as Luke phrases it. He dressed in purple, i.e. royal garments. Even his under- wear, according to Luke, was made of linen. Then there was the noor man. Luke deoicts him !he greatest miser. He was "full of sores." Not was he poor and sick, but the Greek words usea inclicated that he was dumped, "thrown" at the gate of the rich man Thus he was poor, sick and abandoned. Worse could not be imagined• MI Lazarus wanted was some crumbs that . ,, table• One commentator suggests b .these crumbs" consisted of the pieces of reaa the diners used to wipe their fingers and sh:cthrest: the floor for the ever-present dogs. ,,_ . custom in pre-napkin times. Even me clogs abused the noor man by coming over and licking his sorest- Luke doesnot mean this as ua b animals giving the man solace while hu- , .,as, Ignored him. It is only additional misery, LUke s contrast between rich and poor is total. Now the tables begin to turn. The poor man m and is carried off by the angels. Luke intends as another slap in the face to the wealthy s. No one helped and so God sends angels Perhaps tills is where the poor man got More on wealth and poverty: the rich man and poor Lazarus his name for the story. The name "Lazarus" means "God has helped." The rich man also dies and is buried. He goes to "Hades" for torment in fames while Lazarus is "in the bosom of Abra- ham," a Judaic expression for heavenly reward. Their roles are now completely reversed. The rich man looks into the distance and sees Father Abraham and Lazarus. He asks that Abraham send Lazarus with just a drop of water to cool off his tongue. The irony intended by Luke is that the tongue was the chief instrument of the man's wicked life, that is, "he feasted sumptuously every day," while ignoring the poor. Now his tongue burns for a drop of water. Abraham reminds the rich man how good it was on the earth and how his role and that of poor Lazarus have been reversed. Lazarus is com- forted. The rich man is tormented• Besides, Abra- ham adds there is an unbridgeable canyon be- tween their locations. Now the rich man actually thinks of someone else. He has five brothers. Could Abraham send Lazarus to warn them about the fate of the rich who do not share? Abraham assures him that his brothers have plenty of warning, just like he did. Both parties had "Moses and the prophets," that is, the Hebrew Scriptures that are so concerned with caring for the poor and underprivileged, that so frequently condemn the neglect of the poor. Now the rich man suggests that his brothers would believe a man who came back from the grave• Abraham says: No way! They have the Scriptures. What Luke means here is that a Christian lives by faith, not visions. The Word of God in the Scriptures is more important than any vision anyone claims to have had or will have. K of C football play continues The following information Jones, league president f MetaoriQl High School r Ootball League. yards for a fourth quarter Ti3, with Ike Miller adding the P.A.T., to give St. Theresa/Holy Redeemer a 33- 0 victory and first place in the league, In the second game, Christ the King/Holy Spirit scored in the second quarter with a nine yard pass play from Chris Bagbey to Greg Schae- fer. St. Benedict/Holy Name countered with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Joe Pruiett to Clinton Keown. In pouring rain, a fourth quarter sweep play by Alan Quach, followed by Cory Alsip mak- ing the pass recovery for the P.A.T. gave Christ the King/Holy Spirit a 13-6 win. Holy Rosary/Good Shep- herd/St. John takes on Christ the King/Holy Spirit at 1 p.m.; and unbeaten St. Theresa/Holy Redeemer takes on St. Benedict/Holy Name at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27. On Sept 20, the second RosarWeek of regular play, Holy -, Y/Good Shepherd/St. John faced St Theresa/Hol fRre:eemer. On the first pie y WL'" scrimmage for St. I(evr e-sa/H ely Redeemer, 2vln Wonder took the hand- oil from Nick Miller and ran SYL ards for the touchdown. rue Second quarter, a 3- Yard pass play from Nick Miller to Ike Miller addednenr other TD, and Kevm We reade the p A T In the third quarter, Wonder scored on a ae:Yard run around left end .hTIke Miller adding the • ". : '; Wonder scored aain ith a 4,9-yard run around z"' end..Eric Wolfe ran 37 DEAF & HARD OF HEARING Total Communication Mass Copies of Sunday Homilies Available Every Saturday 5:00 p.m. An interesting development of this story is found in the Gospel of John. The author of that later gospel seems to take the story of Lazarus and develop the line Luke wrote: "If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead." John tells a story of a Lazarus who did rise from the dead. The religious leaders not only refused to believe in Jesus because of this resurrection, but actually plotted to kill Lazarus also to destroy the evidence. Thus Luke's state- ment was verified in John's story of the resurrec- tion of Lazarus. In all these stories, parables, and sayings of Jesus that Luke collects, edits and expands, he is only commenting on his first beatitude: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." To which he adds the total contrast: "Woe to you rich, you have received your consolation." As this column has mentioned before, Luke does not condemn wealth or wealthy people as such. It is only those who act as if all their wealth be- longs to them and was acquired for their enjoy- ment alone while the suffering poor can rot. Even our legal system at times can be con- demned, a system that harshly punishes the poor man who steals bread to feed his family, while treating gently the wealthy man whose embezzling, trading, squandering of other peo- ple's savings resulted in a fortune for himself and poverty and unemployment for his victims. Other readings for Sunday, Sept. 27: Amos 6: 1, 4-7; I Timothy 6: 11-16. Champion spellers The Greene County Spelling Bee championship team from Holy Name Church, Bloomfield, consisted of Sister Diane Fischer, O.S.B., sponsor, Dr. Owen Batterton, Doug Vidai, Paul Dzimitrowicz and Sister Alfreda Chwaliboga, sponsor. Eight teams competed in the event which was held by the Greene County Literacy Coalition. Third Friday. of the Month 5-7 p.m. October 16, Nov. 20 $5 Adult- $2.50 under 10 I I I I II I I II I i T F_ [ S Box 68 • Montgomery, Indiana 47558 D°nil!d ,I" T,,rayl Or ............... President Phone 486 3285