Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Eternal Consequences

If we were to step back in time and place ourselves within the historical context of this Sunday’s gospel narrative, we would notice that people did not have utensils such as knives, forks or napkins when they ate a meal. They ate with their hands, and in wealthy homes, they cleaned their hands by wiping them on pieces of bread, which were later thrown away. Lazarus, the poor beggar, lay there daily, hoping to receive these pieces of bread.

The rich man lived in opulent luxury. He feasted luxuriously every day of the week. His sin was not that he was rich, but that he had misused his time, his talent, and his treasure. He was totally self-absorbed. His sin was gross self-indulgence, and this blinded him from even noticing the needs of Lazarus.

Our earthly existence provides us with countless opportunities to change our lives. God continually pours his graces upon us and continually calls us to repentance and conversion. Death is definitive because when we die all opportunity for change ceases abruptly. Judgment by God determines our eschatological destiny. The drama of our contemporary world is made even more spectacular because so many people have closed themselves to the truth and have chosen to continue down the path of destruction.

“'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead'“ (Luke 16: 27-31).

The message of this Sunday’s gospel narrative is powerful indeed. Jesus clearly reveals different dimensions of the Catholic Church’s eschatological teaching. The parable teaches us about..." Continued here.)

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