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Sunday, September 26, 2004

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26th Sunday Ordinary Time

Amos 6:1, 4-7
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Psalm 146
Luke 16:19-31

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hell, no!

"I am tortured in these flames." —Luke 16:24

Jesus told a parable about a rich man who was in the netherworld — what we would call "hell." The rich man was in hell not because he was rich or because he refused to help the poor man, Lazarus. The rich man went to hell because he was insensitive to Lazarus. He didn't even notice the poor man at his door, although even dogs noticed Lazarus (see Lk 16:20-21). The rich man was not only insensitive to Lazarus but also to Moses and the prophets, that is, the Bible (Lk 16:31). The rich man and his five brothers had put themselves in such a state of spiritual stupor that they would not have been fazed "even if one should rise from the dead" (Lk 16:31).

The rich man deadened his spiritual sensitivity by a worldly lifestyle. He "dressed in purple and linen and feasted splendidly every day" (Lk 16:19). He was complacent, living for comfort, enjoyment, entertainment, and pleasure (see Am 6:4-6). A worldly lifestyle doesn't necessarily put a person in hell, but it puts a person in such a state of addiction to self that he chooses hell.

It is natural to live a worldly lifestyle. However, Christians, who have been baptized into a supernatural new life, sometimes live a worldly, soul-numbing lifestyle. How can this be? These Christians are not living their Baptisms. Instead of rejecting Satan, all his works, and all his promises, we can fall into the temptation to reject "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit" (2 Cor 13:13).

Jesus died so that we would all go to heaven. His will be done.

Prayer:  Father, make me so secure in Your love that I will not become empty.

Promise:  "Take firm hold on the everlasting life to which you were called when, in the presence of many witnesses, you made your noble profession of faith." —1 Tm 6:12

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the "Lord of lords Who alone has immortality and Who dwells in unapproachable light" (1 Tm 6:15-16).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004