The true security
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
Fr. Labib Kobti


The Prophet Amos is known in the Old Testament as the Prophet of social justice. In today's first reading Amos (6:1-7) warns the wealthy people of Israel that they do have a false security. You will be the first to go into exile you people who are:"lying upon beds of ivory... eating lambs...improvising to the music of the harp...drinking wine and anointing themselves with the best oils."

They used to live with a false security that cannot bring them to secure future. The Psalm 146 with the Second reading  1 Timothy 6:11-16 and the Gospel Luke 16: 19-31 tells us about the real security.

The Psalm 146: 7,8-10 says "Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, he who secures justice for the oppressed, he who gives food to the hungry".

Saint Paul asks us to: "Pursue rightousness, devotion, faith, love patience and gentleness".

The parable of Jesus in today’s Gospel speaks about the rich man and Lazarus. The first one had a false security during his life. He did not think of his future. A lot of us have the same security on earth: a house, a car, a job, a family, some money at the bank etc. But all these do not secure our life in the future. In fact the rich man could not have any of what he had on earth to pay for anything after his death. The Gospel tells us that he couldn’t care less for the poor Lazarus that "dogs even used to come and lick his sores".

Only a personal pain taught the rich man that he had lived in a world of insecurity. So he wanted to warn his brothers. "I beg you Father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment". And Abraham replied that in life you have a lot of events or prophets that had warned you and will warn your brothers; that if they do not listen to these, "neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead."

Can you see that? In fact if you do not believe in God; if you do not give God the chance to help you when you are on earth; if you do not think of others as your brothers and sisters and build with them a world of faith, love, and honesty, you are living in a false security that would lead you to self destruction after all.

"My child,” Abraham responded to the rich man, “remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented."