Be Just and Work for Eternal Life!
Readings: 1st: Am 6:1. 4-7; Ps: 145:6-10; 2nd: I Tim 6:11-16; Gos: Lk 6:11-16
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at:
On this twenty-sixth Sunday of ordinary time, the church calls us to be just and work for eternal life. Hence, she encourages us to be dedicated and active in the “good fight of faith until the appearing of the Lord.”
All the readings of this Sunday are continuations of the readings of last Sunday. They center on the day of God’s judgment. Most importantly, they point to the end of the unjust, the triumph and comfort of the poor and just.
In today’s first reading, the prophet Amos continues his treaty against the rich and influential of the society who oppress the weak and the poor. He pronounces God’s judgment on those who derive their joy and comfort from the miseries of the poor and the vulnerable.
This comfort will soon disappear as the snow disappears. In order words, their time would soon be up, and their evil comes to light because “Tempus omnia revelat” (time reveals all things). Indeed, this would be the triumph and comfort of the poor.
Today’s gospel is unique because it touches a vital aspect of our Christian life and belief. That is eschatology or the theology of the end of time. First, it concerns the three last things: Death, judgment, and reward – heaven or hell (Heb 9:27). Second, it involves and reassures us of the comfort of those who mourn now on earth as Christ promised: “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted (Mt 5: 4).
This famous adage, “Make hay while the sun shines,” captures the crucial lesson from today’s gospel. In order words, we must pay heed to the instructions of the good news of salvation while there is still ample opportunity for us to do so. Extreme comfort, and display of affluence here on earth that does not positively impact others, especially the poor, will not profit us much at the end of time. They will not guarantee our ticket into the “bosom of Abraham.”
Therefore, we need to pay attention to the word of God we hear every day. It calls us to use our earthly possession to help the poor and weak. The true and wise disciple of Christ is the one who understands this Latin adage, “Cotidiana vilescunt” (every day, things lose their appeal or value). This is hundred percent true and sure. Things retain their value only by serving and helping the society from which they come.
So, being mindful of the fact that this world shall pass away helps us a lot to prepare for the eternal kingdom. Only those who are focused and not distracted by the extreme comfort of this world will quickly notice and attend to the Christ in the “Lazarus” around them.
Finally, through the second reading of this Sunday, Paul advises us: “As a man dedicated to God, fight a good fight of faith to win for your selves the eternal life to which you are being called” This call to eternal life is for all.
However, only those who work for it with faith, patience, love, gentility, and reverence for God and others will get there. Only those who show mercy to the poor, tweak, and just would be accepted into the bosom of Abraham. That is the eternal kingdom, where we can hope for better things.
Peace be with you all!