26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Homily

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10 (1b)
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Luke 16:19-31
September 25, 2022

Jesus offers us a parable today contrasting two men.  The first is “a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.”  He might be the one we would want to be like.

The second is “a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.”  While he laid at the door of the rich man, he went without help.

Rich people tend to get the attention but here we don’t even know the rich man’s name.  It is the poor man whose name we know.  He may have been forgotten by the rich man and other people but God knows his name.  His name means, “my God helps.”

When the two men die, it is Lazarus who enters Heaven while the rich man is “in torment.”  The rich man will spend eternity in Hell, forever separated from Heaven by a great chasm.

Now, which one do you want to be like?

Lazarus laid at the rich man’s door.  The rich man did not seem to care about Lazarus.  He was not made ill by the condition of Lazarus’ health.  The rich man mirrors the “complacent in Zion” that Amos speaks of who stretch out comfortably on beds of ivory and eat fine lambs and calves.

How are you doing?  If you are well-off, do you care for the needs of the poor?  If you are poor like Lazarus, do you feel like anyone cares about you? 

Remember Jesus’ last words in Matthew’s gospel, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

If you have the means, do you offer help to others, even strangers, in need?  We will be sending out our annual report in October.  That report will talk about our ministries of helping others.  We have our Community Table to provide a hot meal to our neighbors.  We support the food pantry.  Do you help care for the sick?  Do you pray for others in our community?

Do you think about people beyond our own community? 

By now, you may have received a letter from our bishop beginning this year’s Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA).  This appeal funds over half of the diocesan budget.

10% of the money raised goes to support Catholic Charities across the diocese in serving the needs of the poor.

7% supports the education and continuing development of our priests, deacons, and pastoral leaders.

35% is used to provide support to parishes with things like human resources, IT, and the marriage tribunal.

The theme of this year’s appeal is I am With You Always.  The ministries of our parish and our diocese are meant to help people know that Jesus is with them always, that God cares about them and that we care.

Our goals for both parishes have increased this year.  The goal for St. Mary’s is $38,000 and the goal for St. Benedict’s is $7,000. 

Last year each parish raised slightly more than our new goals.  Before you rush to say, “see the diocese just raises our goal whenever we pass it,” you should realize that St. Mary’s had actually raised more in the past and last year St. Mary’s goal went down.  This year it is back up but still not to what it has been.  St. Benedict’s has raised the same amount for the couple of couple of years.

To calculate the goals of each parish the diocese uses Mass attendance, regular collection totals, number of registered households, and median income provided by zip code from the U.S. Census bureau.

Since our goals for this new year are just under what we raised last year, it would be simple to say if everyone just gives the same amount, we will make our goals again.  While this is true, please realize two things.

First, everyone might not be able to give the same amount.  We ask that you give according to your means.

Secondly, remember that with one month to go in May, St. Mary’s was $3,000 short of its goal.  People responded by giving more than they usually do.  They can’t do that every year.  Again, we ask each family give according to their means.

You can give online at https://donate.dor.org/.  All registered parishioners and past CMA givers should receive a mailing with information on how to give.  We will be putting envelopes out next weekend.

One final word on giving.  I mentioned earlier that we will be sending out our annual report in October.  You will see that St. Mary’s faces a significant shortfall in the budget. 

As you prayerfully consider your giving for the next year to the church, please keep our parishes in mind.  If you are able to give more, ask God where to give it. 

Whatever you can give, your generosity will be greatly appreciated.

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