The prophet Amos attacks the immoderate use of wealth by the aristocrats and potentates of Samaria, their luxurious houses that archaeology has brought to light, and prophesies its end with the exile, which will come true in 722 B.C. when the Assyrians, with Sargon II, destroy Samaria deporting its inhabitants to Mesopotamia: vanity of the accumulated wealth.
Paul writes to Timothy: "You, however, man of God, flee from these things." He refers to what he said immediately before: "Those who desire to be rich succumb to temptation, entangle themselves in a snare, and fall prey to many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some, dragged by it, have turned away from the faith and have brought many sufferings upon themselves." And he invites his disciple to "justice, piety, faith, love, patience, meekness", and to fight the good fight of faith.
The verse before the Gospel gives us a key to reading the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus: "Jesus Christ, being rich, became poor for your sake, so that you might be enriched by his poverty". That poor man thrown at our door is, therefore, Christ who wants to save us: "By his wounds we are healed". Jesus addresses the Pharisees, showing them a picture of them, that of the rich man clothed in purple and linen, so that they may be converted while they live, realizing that the poor man is at their door, so that they may come to his aid and receive the salvation that Christ will conquer on his cross: "Come, you blessed of my Father... for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me". He shakes them out of the abyss that they themselves have built against other men, even with prayer: "O God, I thank you that I am not like other men, thieves, unjust, adulterers, nor like this tax collector". The rich man, once dead, realizes that he is Abraham's son and that he has five brothers, six counting him, and he worries about them. But he should have lived as a son in life, distributing his goods, and welcoming Lazarus, which means "God saves," into his house as a seventh brother, a sign of fullness in brotherhood. The rich used to wipe their hands clean of the grease from the banquet with bread crumbs which they then threw on the ground, but Lazarus could not even reach these, for he lay outside their door. Only the dogs had pity on him, which in the eyes of the Pharisees also meant: the pagans. But to be converted does not require extraordinary deeds: one must listen to the word of God, of Moses and the prophets.
The homily on the readings of Sunday 26th Sunday
The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa small one-minute reflection for these readings.