Homily‎ > ‎

25th September, 2016 - 26th Sunday of the Year, C

posted 23 Sep 2016, 03:05 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle

H.B. & Hw.


"Those who sprawl and those who bawl will be

exiled." Amos 6:1. 4-7) Amos does not pull his verbal punches  mince his

words'. The snug, well fed, satiated, perfumed

bawlers and sprawlers are already exiled, banished and

deported. They are displaced. They are not even

aware of their own ruin and havoc but they are the

displaced of the world; displaced in mind and heart and

quite insane. Amos 'nails' the insanity of our world in

no uncertain terms.


The Psalmist endorses Amos' message with the prayer

of praise. The same stance and sanity would have us

acknowledge the Lord "who keeps faith forever". The

Lord is the answer to oppressed spirits, fearful souls

and imprisoned persons. The Lord is our providence,

healer and affirmer. There is no other source of

wellbeing,  protection, support and confirmation. And

yet insanity reigns supreme!


Luke draws out the disparity in terms of Dives and

Lazarus, the Bawler and Sprawler as opposed to the

"my God helps" man. (That is what Lazarus means in

Aramaic, "my God helps".) We are into diametrically

opposed alternatives, sanity and insanity, Dives and

Lazarus, heaven and hell.


Dives has 'lost it'. Dives lives in unconscious, loving

union with his magnificent lifestyle. Dives has 'lost

the plot' totally. Dives has lost the beat of his heart

and the stirrings of his true self. He is a dead man, a

netherworid man. "Hell is what he has become."


St. Paul calls us back to the sanity represented by

Lazarus and the real world.  He reminds us of who we

really are. We are a people called to live in conscious,

loving union with God and man, now and always. "...

carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham",

is the way Luke expresses it out of respect for Jewish

sensitivities by not picturing God directly. . . he has

Abraham, the ancestor of the Jewish People, act as

God's representative. And we are "carried away by

the angels to the bosom of Abraham."


So in the midst of global economic meltdown, we

work for the justice that contributes to the wellbeing of

the whole human community. In short, things as they

are meant to be in a sane world. It is called the

Kingdom in our book. We seek to reverse the unequal

sharing of wealth and prosperity. An unequal society

is a mad society which nurtures within itself, the seeds

of its own destruction. We live with the evidence.

And we pray God help us build a future founded on

justice where all God's people may flourish.