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All Issues > Volume 23, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 30, 2007 >> 26th Sunday Ordinary Time
Amos 6:1, 4-7
1 Timothy 6:11-16

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Psalm 146
Luke 16:19-31

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"Between you and us there is fixed a great abyss, so that those who might wish to cross from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross from your side to us." —Luke 16:26

The rich man, traditionally known as Dives, spent eternity staring across a great chasm separating himself from the Lord (Lk 16:26). How ironic! Dives spent his lifetime constructing this chasm (or gulf) to isolate himself from the poor. Now this gulf, built day by day during his life, could not be undone in eternity.

In the USA, many gulfs have been built to isolate the not-so-poor from the poor. We have suburbs, which the poor can't reach because of distance and low income. We have expensive colleges and professional training, which often serve to exclude those without sufficient income. The high cost of medical insurance often excludes the poor from the treatment they need.

This is not meant so much to criticize those who enjoy these things as it is to make the point that those who have a gulf between themselves and the poor must work harder than ever to bridge that gulf. Charity obliges those with a sufficiency to share with those without (see 2 Cor 8:14). "Woe to the complacent" who do not reach out to the Lazaruses in their midst (Am 6:1).

King Jesus will judge us on our outreach to the poor (see Mt 25:35ff). All Christians are "to be mindful of the poor" (Gal 2:10) and even have "a preferential love" for the poor (Catechism, 2448). Reach out to the poor. Bridge the gulf now, before you have to stare across it forever.

Prayer: Jesus, You made Yourself poor for My sake (2 Cor 8:9). Give me Your heart, mind, love, and ministry to the poor.
Promise: "Happy he [...who] secures justice for the oppressed, [and] gives food to the hungry." —Ps 146:5, 7
Praise: Praise Jesus, Whose chosen poverty gained us eternal riches.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 23, Issue 5
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