HOMILY FOR THE 26TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C
THEME: A GULF OF SEPARATION
BY: Fr Livinus C. Igbodekwe
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25 2022
Introduction: In the world, we keep creating ‘gulfs’ around ourselves, making the world a place of segregation and unequal opportunity. Sociologically, we create ‘gulfs’ of division between the rich and the poor. The rich is the winner and the poor is a loser. And when the winner takes it all, the loser looks so small. The rich feasts lavishly while the poor is sick with poverty. When we do this, there is something we don’t immediately see – that God will fix His own gulf of separation between the just and the wicked over there in eternity.
1. We see the world of difference that existed between Dives (Latinized: “Rich Man”) and Lazarus (Latinized form of “Eleazar” – God is my help). The rich was clothed in purple (royal color), the poor was clothed with sores. The rich feasts sumptuously, the poor feeds from crumbs (in rich houses, the members use bread as serviettes to wipe off their mouths and fingers, and throw the crumbs away) from the rich man’s table. His dog even made feast out of Lazarus’ sores. What a condition that was!
2. They both died. Death is a leveller. The poor died first. Those with high mortality rate in the world come from poor countries. The life span of man has a lot to do with physical wellbeing. Lazarus couldn’t afford a hospital treatment for his wounds, nor a bread to keep alive. Why wouldn’t he die before the rich man? No mention of burial was made.
Why would people bother about the burial of a poor beggar? The rich man died. A huge burial was observed. A mammoth crowd came for it. He was very popular, a celebrity. However, while Dives received a burial, Lazarus received an angelic escort.
3. The gulf was fixed. Dives beheld Lazarus at “Abraham’s bossom” – The idea that in death, the righteous are gathered to the patriarchs in the faith (Genesis 15:15, 25:8).
· The thought of a parent’s love and care, as in John 1:18 (The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father).
· The idea of sitting at the place of honor at a banquet, as in John 13:23.
The Rich man desired such comfort that he demanded a drink of a drop of water for he was in great torment. He could recognize. He could remember, for Father Abraham told him to remember how he enjoyed himself while on earth while Lazarus languished at his gate.
4. Lazarus had no worries, but Dives was full of worries and regrets. He worried about the lifestyle he left behind on earth for his sons and daughters. He wanted someone to be sent to go warn them against coming to hell. Abraham denied him such privilege telling him that just as he himself disregarded the Law and the Prophets by not treating his neighbor fairly, so also shall his family experience the burnings of Hedes would they not harken to them.
Dear friends, heaven is a real place and hell is a real place. The gulf you are creating here on earth will determine which side of the gulf you shall be in eternity!
Happy Sunday to you all!